DePaul student among 4 victims in overnight robbery, carjacking spree

The approximate locations of Thursday’s robberies. | Multiplottr

CHICAGO — Another wave of robberies and carjackings rolled through Lincoln Park overnight, repeating a pattern that first emerged several weeks ago. And once again, a DePaul University student is among the victims. Chicago police have announced no arrests in the growing crime pattern.

Today’s crime spree began around 12:10 a.m. when a woman was driving in the 600 block of West Belden, and a dark SUV passed her to block her path, according to a CPD spokesperson.

A gunman exited the SUV and confronted the woman. After robbing her of her belongings, he drove away with her car, police said.

Another woman was robbed around 12:35 a.m. in the 1000 block of West Armitage, according to preliminary information.

Then, at 12:43 a.m., two vehicles pulled up next to a man sitting in his car in the 1400 block of West Fullerton. He said two men got out of each vehicle and displayed a firearm.

The group “began to damage the victim’s vehicle from the outside,” a CPD spokesperson said, and a fight broke out when the victim’s friend showed up to help him.

An officer at the scene said the men broke out all of the victim’s car windows but didn’t get anything from him.

They fled in one of the vehicles they drove to the scene, leaving behind a Nissan Rogue that had been carjacked from the 300 block of West 24th Street. The Rogue may have also been used in the robbery on Belden.

Moments later, a DePaul student was robbed in the 900 block of West Webster. She was walking when a man demanded her property while armed with a weapon. She said she thinks the weapon may have been a Tazer because she heard a crackling noise, the school’s public safety office said in an email to the DePaul community. 

At least two more robberies may have occurred late Wednesday night. One victim was robbed by three masked men near the intersection of Barry and Leavitt in Lakeview.

At 10:11 p.m., a man called 911 after being robbed at gunpoint by a man near LaSalle and Chestnut on the Near North Side. But dispatchers did not assign the call until 10:48 p.m., and officers said they could not find a victim when they arrived.

The Lincoln Park robbery pattern has been growing, despite repeated assurances from CPD leaders and Ald. Timmy Knudsen (43rd) that the city would be on top of the issue.

Five people were robbed in the area last Thursday night, including a 76-year-old man and a 55-year-old woman who were standing outside when two robbers walked up and said they had a gun around 11:30 p.m. They demanded the victims’ property but ran away after the man swung his briefcase at them, a CPD spokesperson said.

About five minutes later, a man and woman were robbed in the 400 block of West Grant. They told police they were walking when two male robbers confronted them and implied they had a firearm, police said. The victims handed over their property to the offenders, who ran eastbound.

Three people were robbed in the neighborhood on Monday afternoon, June 12:

  • A 19-year-old DePaul student was walking in the 2200 block of North Lincoln when a robber came up behind him around 4:30 p.m., according to CPD. He told police that the robber implied that he had a gun and demanded his property, which the victim turned over.
  • A 26-year-old woman told police she was robbed while walking in the 600 block of West Armitage around 4:23 p.m., and a 30-year-old woman was targeted in the 2200 block of North Geneva Terrace around 4:32 p.m., according to police.

In other cases:

  • A little before 11 p.m. on May 28, a woman called 911 to report that two men tried to rob her and a friend as they sat on a bench in Oz Park. The woman who called for help bolted from the park, leaving her friend behind.
  • About 20 minutes later, a 26-year-old woman was knocked to the ground and robbed in the 2200 block of North Sheffield, according to CPD. The offender escaped in a light-colored vehicle.
  • Two DePaul students, ages 19 and 20, were robbed at gunpoint in the 1300 block of West Fullerton around 4:15 a.m. on May 29. The men were walking when two offenders exited a black car to rob them. After the holdup, the victims went to University Hall, a DePaul residence hall, and a security officer called 911, identifying them as students.
  • A 37-year-old woman was carjacked by two men who implied they had weapons at 11:39 p.m. on May 29, police said. She was getting into her car in the 2300 block of North Halsted, directly in front of DePaul’s School of Music building, when they took her black Volkswagen Jetta.
  • On June 1, four young women were robbed while walking together in Lincoln Park shortly after midnight in the 700 block of West Webster, Chicago police said. A robber punched one woman in the face. One of them tried to run away, but she fell to the ground, and a robber grabbed her buttocks, then proceeded with the robbery, police said.

Nearly four weeks ago, Knudsen, the local alderman, reassured his constituents in an email that the city had everything well in hand.

“Our police are sending additional patrol vehicles and tactical missions to the area,” the freshman alder wrote. “We will continue to advocate for strategies including consistent police presence in the 43rd Ward and a robust community policing approach.”

But CWBChicago learned that much of Knudsen’s ward sometimes went without any active beat cars. Knudsen again promised residents that police were beefing up patrols. But CWBChicago reported on June 18 that the area again went without any beat cars on the night that five people were shot outside Lincoln Park Zoo.

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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