More than 50 armed robberies in 6 days, but Chicago police seem to have no plan to fight it

Chicago police are investigating seven more armed robberies that unfolded in under an hour on the Near West Side overnight as a relentless surge of armed robbery sprees continues across the area and parts of the North Side. Three of this morning’s victims were pistol-whipped.

At least two robbery teams, one of which is now out of commission after crossing paths with a concealed carry holder on Monday, have committed more than 50 armed robberies between the West Loop and Lincoln Square since December 2.

Yet, a law enforcement source said the Chicago Police Department has yet to launch a concerted effort to end the crime wave.

Thursday’s robbery spree began around 12:45 in the 1700 block of North St. Louis in Humboldt Park. A 34-year-old man was video chatting with a friend after parking his car when a black SUV rolled up to him and three men got out of it with firearms.

They demanded the man’s property, then returned to the SUV, and headed west through an alley, a Chicago police spokesperson said. The woman he was video chatting with apparently saw the robbery unfold and called 911.

For the next 50 minutes, more and more robberies were reported to Chicago’s 911 call center, all involving armed men who traveled in a dark-colored SUV:

  • A woman was robbed around 12:35 a.m. near Cortez and Homan in Humboldt Park
  • Two people flagged down police to report being robbed at Grand and Kedzie around 1 a.m. Police found a phone while speaking with the victims and tracked down its owner. He told them he had been robbed at the same intersection but would file a police report later.
  • A man was robbed while sitting in his vehicle in the 800 block of North Washtenaw around 1:15 a.m.
  • Another woman reported that an SUV followed her as she drove in the 2100 block of West Superior around 1:20 a.m. Two men jumped out of the SUV with guns as she made a turn, but she accelerated and got away.

Minutes later, a man and a woman, both 25, were pistol-whipped by four armed robbers as they sat in a car in the 1000 block of North Campbell. A CPD spokesperson said the offenders did not get any property from the couple.

Finally, around 1:35 a.m., an Uber driver was in the 1700 block of West Superior when the black SUV pulled up and four men got out with guns. They ordered him to roll down his window.

One of the offenders pistol-whipped the victim above his eye and took his valuables, a CPD spokesperson said. The crew returned to the SUV and headed east.

The robbery crew was traveling in the same stolen Kia SUV that was used in a streak of similar holdups on Wednesday morning, according to a source.

Chicago police said in a community alert Wednesday evening that holdups were reported in the:

  • 2400 block of W Fullerton Ave at 2:08 a.m.
  • 1500 block of N Ashland Ave at 2:54 a.m.
  • 2700 block of W Augusta Blvd at 3:05 a.m.
  • 1500 block of N Western Ave at 4:15 a.m.
  • 2700 block of N Central Ave at 4:21 a.m.
  • 4000 block of N Central Ave at 4:42 a.m.
  • 5300 block W Berenice Ave at 4:44 a.m.
  • 5200 block of W North Ave at 5:00 a.m.
  • 2300 block of W Rice St at 5:30 a.m.
  • 3100 block of W Division St at 5:44 a.m.
  • 1600 block of N Cicero Ave at 6:20 a.m.

Similar robberies were reported further west on Tuesday morning. In a separate CPD alert about those crimes, police said robberies were reported in the:

  • 3800 block of West Ohio at 6:30 a.m.
  • 1000 block of North Central Park at 6:35 a.m.
  • 3200 block of West Huron at 6:45 a.m.
  • 1000 block of North Ridgeway at 6:50 a.m.
  • 3300 block of West Grand at 7:00 a.m.
  • 3700 block of West Thomas at 9:28 a.m.

At least seven more robberies occurred early Monday morning in and near Wicker Park. A car used in some of those robberies was also used a short time later by four people who tried to rob a concealed carry holder in the Austin neighborhood. He shot three of the offenders, and prosecutors filed charges in the case on Wednesday.

In two other community alerts, Chicago police linked more than armed robberies across the area. Those crimes were reported in the:

  • 2100 block of W. Cullerton St on December 2 at 12:45 a.m.
  • 2600 block of W. Iowa St on December 2 at 1:00 a.m.
  • 900 block of N. Western Ave on December 2 at 1:05 p.m.
  • 800 block of N. Rockwell St on December 2 at 1:19 a.m.
  • 3400 Block of W. Armitage Ave on December 2 at 1:21 a.m.
  • 3600 Block of W. Shakespeare Ave on December 2 at 1:25 a.m.
  • 3400 block of W. Irving Park Rd on December 2 at 1:39 a.m.
  • 4000 block of W. Wellington Ave on December 2 at 1:40 a.m.
  • 3100 block of N. Pulaski Rd on December 2 between 2 and 2:30 a.m.
  • 4000 block of W. Fullerton Ave on December 2 at 2:10 a.m.
  • 2200 block of W. Superior St on December 2 at 7:11 p.m.
  • 800 block of N. California Ave on December 2 at 7:18 p.m.
  • 1200 block of W. Race Ave on December 2 at 7:45 p.m.
  • 1500 block of W. Walton St on December 3 between 7:45 p.m. – 7:55 p.m.
  • 1800 block of W. Hubbard St on December 3 at 8:00 p.m.
  • 2100 block of W. Ohio St on December 3 at 8:07 p.m.
  • 1400 block of W. Superior St on December 3 at 8:20 p.m.
  • 700 block of N. Hoyne Ave on December 3 at 8:30 p.m.
  • 1000 block of N. Spaulding Ave on December 4 at 2:00 a.m.
  • 900 block of N. Damen Ave on December 4 at 2:10 a.m.
  • 1500 block of W. Augusta Blvd on December 4 at 2:15 a.m.
  • 3000 block of W. Palmer Blvd on December 4 at 2:45 a.m.

The crews have consistently been described as Black males in their teens or 20s who wear ski masks and dark clothing. Each team has three or four members traveling together.

On November 25, at least nine robberies were reported during daylight robbery sprees in West Town and West Ridge. Four days earlier, three similar robberies were reported in Humboldt Park, Wicker Park, and Logan Square.

On November 19, a string of robberies and hijackings were reported from West Ridge to the Loop. And on Thursday, November 17, a group of six to eight male and female offenders traveled in two cars to carry out a series of robberies and carjackings that stretched across the north and northwest sides.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com