CHICAGO — A group of men armed with several guns, including at least one rifle, went on a cross-town robbery spree Monday morning, targeting victims from the Loop to the Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, and the Northwest Side.
Chicago police officers spotted the crew’s SUV after one of the robberies, but the cops didn’t pursue the vehicle after it entered the expressway, according to CPD radio transmissions. No arrests have been announced.
The robberies began around 3:25 a.m. at Madison and Dearborn in the Loop. Four people flagged down a Chicago police officer and reported that a group of men jumped out of a black Jeep with pistols and rifles and robbed them.
A CPD surveillance operator confirmed that a city camera had recorded the robbery. But the victims boarded a CTA bus and left the scene after cops drove away to look for the offenders.
As of Monday morning, no report had been filed, a CPD spokesperson said.
Around the same time, another man reported that a gunman stepped out of a dark SUV with a rifle and tried to take his bookbag in the 300 block of West Madison, a CPD report said. That victim escaped, and the offender fled the scene empty-handed.
Next stop: The Gold Coast. A 26-year-old man reported being outside the Ambassador Chicago Hotel on the corner of State and Goethe when a dark-colored SUV pulled up at 4:05 a.m.
Four robbers got out of the vehicle, displayed guns, and took the man’s property, a CPD spokesperson said. They returned to their vehicle, possibly a Jeep Grand Cherokee, and drove away.
The crew struck again around 4:08 a.m. in the 600 block of West Webster.
Police said a 36-year-old woman and a 28-year-old man were outside when a black SUV with about four male occupants arrived, and two men got out with guns. They collected the victims’ property and then fled in the SUV.
The crew appears to have struck two more times on the Northwest Side.
At about 5:25 a.m., a group of men in a black SUV robbed a man at gunpoint in the 5800 block of West Eastwood. The victim reported that at least one of the men was armed with a rifle.
A few minutes later, around 5:40 a.m., a nearly identical robbery occurred in the 3200 block of West Montrose.
CPD units spotted the robbers’ SUV—a black Jeep Cherokee bearing a stolen Texas license plate—as it entered the inbound Kennedy at Lawrence around 6 a.m. But the officers did not go after the vehicle, according to police radio transmissions.
Most of the victims described the suspects as Black men in their late teens or early 20s wearing masks. One victim said one of the masks was bright yellow.
The Jeep Cherokee has a broken passenger window covered with a black cloth.
Robbery reports are up 14% in Chicago this year, sitting at a five-year high of 4,306 reports as of June 25. That’s up 23% from 2019.