Chicago police have arrested two people and recovered three stolen cars after an armed robbery spree swept across the city from River North to West Town on Thursday morning.
The incidents began around 3:45 a.m. in the 700 block of North Hudson in River North. A 55-year-old man told police he was walking when a dark sedan rolled up near him, and three gunmen got out to demand his property, a Chicago police spokesperson said.
Just a couple of blocks away, at nearly the same time, two men stole a black Toyota Corolla from the 200 block of West Erie. The CPD spokesperson said a 23-year-old woman was standing next to her idling car when two men jumped in and drove it away. Her vehicle was used in subsequent robberies, and Chicago police recovered it along with the other two vehicles, according to police reports reviewed by CWBChicago.
Police said five more robberies were committed within the next hour.
Two men, ages 57 and 51, were walking in the 700 block of West Jackson when two cars carrying about eight people pulled up, and two men got out of one vehicle with a gun. Police said the offenders took the victims’ property, struck the younger man in the face, and drove away.
A 69-year-old man was robbed in the 800 block of North Wolcott around 4:20 a.m. Police said four men stepped out of a gray sedan, displayed a gun, pushed the victim to the ground, and took his property.
At 4:40 a.m., a silver sedan pulled up next to a 34-year-old man sitting in his car in the 1500 block of North Talman. Four robbers got out, displayed guns, and took his money and personal items, according to CPD. Investigators determined that the getaway car had a specific Ohio license plate number, a CPD report said. The vehicle was later recovered near the previously stolen Toyota and a third stolen car.
Within minutes, the car with Ohio plates pulled up next to a 45-year-old man who was inside his vehicle in the 1600 block of North Talman. Four men got out, displayed guns, and took his property.
At 5 a.m., three men exited a gray sedan, chased a 22-year-old man, and pushed him to the ground in the 1600 block of North Leavitt, police said. They robbed him and fled the scene.
The robberies resumed at 6:33 a.m. in the 1500 block of West Monroe. Police said a 32-year-old woman left her Acura LX running while she made a delivery, but a man was in the car’s driver’s seat when she returned. After failing to steal the car, he took the woman’s purse and fled in a silver sedan waiting nearby, the police said.
Most recently, a construction worker was carjacked of his SUV in the 200 block of North May. According to preliminary information, the thieves struck the victim with the car as they drove it away. A fire department ambulance arrived at the scene, but the man reportedly decided to have a friend take him to a hospital instead. His injuries were not considered life-threatening.
The construction worker is a concealed-carry holder, but his weapon was inside the car’s center console when the hijackers took it, the preliminary report said. Police recovered his SUV a short time later, along with the other two vehicles.
Shortly after the hijacking, police searching an area where stolen and carjacked vehicles are frequently recovered found the stolen vehicle with Ohio plates in traffic. Officers arrested two men who ran from the car after it stopped in the 1000 block of South Campbell. Nearby, they found the Toyota that was taken in River North. And, one block south, they found the freshly-hijacked SUV, according to Chicago police radio transmissions. It is unclear if the concealed carry holder’s gun was still in the vehicle.
CWBChicago will post an updated report if charges are approved against the men who were arrested.