Armed men steal car, commit robberies in Lakeview, Loop overnight

Chicago police are investigating an auto theft and two possibly related armed robberies that occurred early Monday in Lakeview and the Loop. One of the victims told police that the offenders fired shots at them.

It started around 12:04 a.m. in the 500 block of West Surf in Lakeview. Police said a 39-year-old man was outside when a black SUV and another car pulled up. Two men got out of the cars and demanded his property at gunpoint, then drove away in the vehicles.

The second incident unfolded about 15 minutes later when a 38-year-old man left his Toyota Avalon running while he ran into Taco Bell, 3001 North Broadway. His car was gone when he returned.

But a 40-year-old man who knows the victim saw the vehicle being stolen and invited the victim to get into his car to chase it down, according to police. The men eventually caught up with the stolen Avelon near Belmont and Lake Shore Drive.

They told police that they saw the occupants of the Avalon talking to people inside a Nissan Altima, and someone in the Altima displayed a gun, according to a CPD spokesperson. The two men told police that they believed the offender fired a shot at them, but police did not find any shell casings at the scene. A freelance reporter for CWBChicago who was walking in the area said he heard gunfire and the sound of a car speeding away near Belmont and Lake Shore Drive at the time of the incident.

Then, around 1:30 a.m., a 30-year-old man flagged down police in the Loop after he was robbed in the 600 block of South Clark.

He told officers that about eight men displayed guns and took his money and other property. One of the offenders punched him in the face before the crew fled in two silver sedans, a CPD spokesperson said.

Illinois State Police troopers found a car linked to the Taco Bell and Loop incidents abandoned in West Garfield Park around 4 a.m. An officer said a loaded assault rifle was in the back seat.

Police did not release any descriptions of the offenders.

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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