Update: On Sunday, Chicago police issued a community alert about the robberies. According to CPD, a second robbery also occurred at the corner of 21st Place and Damen moments after the incident detailed in our story. That means there have been six robberies on the corner since Christmas, not five.
Chicago — A group of armed robbers targeted three victims in 90 minutes Saturday morning during a crime spree that stretched from the Lower West Side to Humboldt Park. The incidents appear to be related to a series of similar holdups that have been reported in the area during recent months.
The first robbery occurred at a Chase Bank drive-up ATM on the corner of 21st Place and Damen around 5:30 a.m.
Moments after the victim finished using the cash machine, three men pulled up in a white SUV. Wearing ski masks, the offenders put one gun into the victim’s mouth and another to the side of his neck, then took his money and threw him to the ground, according to a CPD report.
The same ATM has been the site of armed robberies during sprees on December 22, December 28, and January 11. On January 15, a group of food vendors who work on the corner were robbed at gunpoint during another wave of holdups.
Tamale cart operators have frequently been targeted during the robbery waves. In fact, so many have been targeted, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot recently suggested that they should adopt cashless payment systems to avoid being victimized.
About an hour after Saturday’s robbery at the ATM, another incident was reported in the 3500 block of West Le Moyne in Humboldt Park.
A 21-year-old man said he was sitting in his car when a white SUV stopped next to him, and two men wearing ski masks got out carrying handguns around 6:30 a.m. The offenders ordered the man out of his car, then robbed him before fleeing in their SUV.
At 7 a.m., a white SUV pulled up next to a 66-year-old man in the 900 block of North Leavitt in Ukrainian Village, police said. Two masked men jumped out of the SUV with guns, took the victim’s valuables, and then returned to the car, which headed south.
Saturday’s robbery crew consisted of three Black males who appeared to be in their late teens or early 20s and stood about 5’9″ tall, according to CPD reports. Their SUV may be a white Lexus, two of the police reports said.