A group of armed robbers went on a holdup spree stretching from Logan Square and Bucktown to Brighton Park on Wednesday morning, according to Chicago police. A law enforcement source said the group is likely the same crew that has been targeting food vendors and people at ATMs across the area for months.
In fact, one of Wednesday’s robberies occurred on the corner of Damen and 21st Place, near a Chase Bank drive-up ATM where vendors and bank customers have been robbed repeatedly. And, as in previous robbery sprees, at least one of Wednesday’s robbers was armed with a rifle.
Chicago police said the latest wave of robberies was committed by three men who traveled in a white 2014 Chrysler 300, which was reported stolen on the far South Side over the weekend. The crew rolled up on the victims and stepped out of the Chrysler while brandishing firearms.
The first robbery occurred around 4:30 a.m. outside Chase Bank, 2235 North Milwaukee in Logan Square. Two masked men robbed two people of their phones and other items, including the keys to their Jeep Cherokee. But the group did not take the SUV, according to a CPD report.
At 4:38 a.m., the crew pulled into the Shell service station at 1768 West Armitage and stole a black Mercedes GLS 450 that was left unattended, another report said.
Next, they robbed a woman at gunpoint outside Cozy Corner restaurant, 2294 North Milwaukee, at 5:50 a.m.
Another robbery occurred at 6:15 a.m. in the 3600 block of West 26th Street.
Then, they hit the often-targeted corner of Damen and 21st Place, robbing an undetermined number of victims at gunpoint around 6:30 a.m. Tamale vendors and other food sellers frequent the corner, occupied by a Chase Bank drive-up ATM.
The ATM has been the site of armed robberies during sprees on December 22, December 28, January 11, and February 4. On January 15, a group of food vendors who work on the corner was robbed at gunpoint during another wave of holdups.
Tamale cart operators have frequently been targeted during the robbery waves. So many have been targeted, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot recently suggested that they adopt cashless payment systems to avoid being victimized.
Police said the last robbery on Wednesday came at 6:50 a.m. in the 3100 block of West 40th Street.
CPD described the crew as three Black males wearing dark clothing and hoodies.
Anyone with information about the crimes can contact Area Three detectives at 312-744-8263 or Area Five investigators at 312-746-7394.