Chicago police are investigating another robbery spree on the Near West Side after at least nine people were robbed at gunpoint in about an hour Saturday morning. Similar crime waves have plagued the area for over a year.
The crew began their work by stealing a retired police officer’s Kia from the 1200 block of North Karlov, according to a CPD report. Then they drove the car around Humboldt Park and other neighborhoods for an hour, robbing people on the streets.
Each time, between two and four men emerged from the Kia with guns to demand property from their victims.
It began around 7:20 a.m. in the the 900 block of North Francisco in Humboldt Park. At about the same time, they tried to rob another man in the 3100 block of West Chicago Avenue.
But that victim jumped into his car and drove away before they could get anything, an officer said.
Minutes later, at least three people were robbed in quick succession in the 1900 blocks of South Western and South Oakley.
They robbed another victim in the 1000 block of South Western around 7:36 a.m. before moving on to the 300 block of North Francisco. There, they robbed several workers of their phones, wallets, and other property.
Finally, they targeted two men in the 2600 block of West Warren around 8:15 a.m.
The victims generally described the group as Black males in their late teens or early 20s wearing masks and dark clothing.
A nearly identical robbery spree rolled through the area on May 14, leaving at least ten victims in its wake. One of those crimes was captured on video:
Saturday’s robberies occurred in the Near West (12th) District, where robberies are at the highest level since at least 2019 and are up 30% over last year, according to CPD’s latest CompStat statistics report.
Also at a five-year high for robberies is the neighboring Shakespeare (14th) District. Holdups have increased 29% over last year in the district, and 2023 is running 81% above 2019’s level. Shakespeare officers patrol neighborhoods like Wicker Park, Bucktown, and much of Logan Square.
At least 11 people were robbed in an hour last Sunday morning across the district.
Update May 28: Chicago police have released a community alert that links even more robberies to the crew. According to CPD, the group committed robberies at the following locations on Saturday:
- 1200 block of North Karlov between 5:40 and 5:47 AM
- 2100 block of North Tripp at 6:12 AM
- 2200 block of North Tripp at 6:16 AM
- 4200 block of West Cortez at 6:50 AM
- 4100 block of West Thomas at 6:39 AM
- 3700 block of West 25th St at 6:56 AM
- 2500 block of South Pulaski at 7:00 AM
- 900 block of North Francisco at 7:20 AM
- 1900 block of South Oakley at 7:30 AM
- 1900 block of South Western at 7:36 AM
- 300 block of North Francisco at 7:44 AM
- 1000 block of South Western at 7:45 AM
- 2600 block of West Warren at 8:20 AM