16-year-old charged with robberies of North Side businesses, firing gun during one

CHICAGO — Prosecutors have charged a 16-year-old boy with participating in a string of armed robberies at North Side businesses over the past month.

Chicago police arrested the teen around 10:45 p.m. Sunday, shortly after he allegedly robbed a West Ridge Walgreens at gunpoint. Two masked and armed robbers went behind the counter at the 6140 North Western Avenue location and took cash and bottles of Patrón tequila, a CPD report said. Both offenders fled the scene on bikes, the same method of escape used by robbers in most of the other crimes.

Over an hour later, cops in Rogers Park spotted the boy, who matched the description of the robbers. He ran from them, but the police caught up with him in a yard behind the 7500 block of North Wolcott. Officers said he had a bottle of Patrón in his backpack, and they found a firearm on the side of a nearby house.

He is also charged with robbing Devon Shell, 1500 West Devon, around 10:55 p.m. on June 26. During that crime, armed robbers tried to get into the cashier’s secure area to rob the clerk. But the room was locked, so they gave up, and one of them fired a gun into the ballistic partition “to intimidate” the victim, according to police.

Police said the boy is charged with discharge of a firearm during an armed robbery, armed robbery with a firearm, attempted armed robbery with a firearm, and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon younger than 21.

Police linked several other crimes to the robbers, including Wingstop, 7003 North Clark, on June 26; Walgreens, 3019 West Peterson, on June 14; an unidentified business in the 6600 block of North Western Avenue on June 29; and 7-Eleven, 5562 North Lincoln, on June 30.

In a community alert last week, CPD said up to four Hispanic men were involved in the crimes, all between 15 and 20 years old. They wore ski masks, hoodies, and gloves, and escaped on foot or bicycles.

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