At least 23 armed robberies reported Sunday as Chicago cops *again* see a robbery in progress, but don’t chase the offenders

CHICAGO — If you were in Logan Square yesterday and you did not get robbed, you probably know someone who did. The neighborhood was the hardest hit, as no fewer than 23 robberies involving nearly 30 victims were reported, mostly in two surges: overnight and early evening.

And, for the second time in less than a week, Chicago police officers witnessed an armed robbery in progress but did not try to catch the offenders, who continued to rob innocent victims on the street freely.

Sunday’s overnight crime wave began around 1:30 a.m. in Pilsen.

While officers were helping one robbery victim near 18th and Halsted, another victim walked up to them to report being robbed a block north. Both holdups involved at least three male offenders armed with a rifle and handguns who traveled in a white sedan, the victims said.

Logan Square got walloped for a half-hour, beginning just after 3 a.m. Again, most victims reported that masked men armed with at least one rifle exited a white sedan.

Two people were robbed in the 2000 block of North Stave. Two more were held up in the 1700 block of North Talman. And a couple was robbed in the Wendy’s parking lot at 2215 North Washtenaw, reports show. At Wendy’s, the robbers hit the male victim in the head with a gun.

Then the wheels came off starting around 4:30 a.m., with at least eleven more armed robberies unfolding in an hour.

The approximate locations of the robberies reported Sunday. | Multiplottr

A crew of men in a white sedan armed with a rifle and other firearms reportedly robbed a victim near Milwaukee and Grand in the Fulton River District; the 900 block of West Van Buren in Old Town; and the 1200 block of North Clybourn in Old Town.

Around 4:45 a.m., robberies began popping up on the north and northwest sides, starting with a woman in the 1900 block of West Irving Park in North Center.

Chicago police officers in Albany Park witnessed a robbery in progress near Ainslie and Pulaski just after 5 a.m. They did not pursue or follow the offenders, who escaped in a dark-colored vehicle.

Within minutes, other victims reported being robbed by armed men who traveled in a blue or black SUV. A bicyclist was targeted near the 6400 block of North Harlem. A group of men robbed a jogger in the 5600 block of West Bryn Mawr. In Jefferson Park, a man was robbed in the 5300 block of North Ludlum.

The morning’s madness wrapped up shortly before 7 a.m. when another robbery victim flagged down a passing patrol car for help near Lawrence and Pulaski in Albany Park.

But the criminals weren’t done. Another 90-minute surge began moments after 6 p.m. Sunday when two or three men, one armed with a rifle, hopped out of a white SUV to rob a man in the 2200 block of North Sawyer in Logan Square.

In the 7 o’clock hour, armed robberies began with the targeting of a family at Bank of America, 4671 West Irving Park in Portage Park, around 7:20 p.m.

That was followed by more holdups, beginning in Avondale and then in Logan Square.

Starting around 7:30 p.m., the next 30 minutes saw robberies in the 3300 block of North Avers, the 3700 block of West Diversey, near the 3500 block of West Cortland, the 1600 block of North Kedzie, the 3600 block of West Dickens, and, finally, in the 3100 block of North Central Park.

That last spree involved three masked men with guns who got around in a blue or gray SUV. At least two victims needed medical attention because the robbers pistol-whipped them.

Last Wednesday, CWBChicago reported that CPD police officers on patrol and in a surveillance camera operations center witnessed an armed robbery in progress in the 6500 block of North Western Avenue.

“I can see them right now,” the officer radioed. “They got long guns. There’s a unit on scene.”

That patrol unit tried to pull the Durango over as they snaked through the North Side. Officers said four men were inside the SUV with their faces covered, bearing at least one rifle.

But not long after the unit started to chase the SUV loaded with armed, masked men who had just robbed someone as Chicago police officers watched, a CPD sergeant ordered the squad car to terminate their efforts to stop the Durango.

At least eleven people were robbed that night, including some after the police supervisor decided to let the group of armed robbers get away — in the interest of public safety, of course.

Chicago has paid out tens of millions of dollars for lives lost and injuries caused by pursuits that ended with crashes. The police department’s written policy explicitly states that no officer will ever be punished for not chasing a suspect. And CPD supervisors have become so skittish about the possibility of something going wrong they’ve even ordered cops to stop pursuing a car suspected of carrying wanted murderers.

Of course, there’s a trade-off when the city discourages pursuits to save money and reduce the possibility of injury to third parties. That trade-off is that armed, violent people are not apprehended, and they continue to commit crimes.

Yesterday morning, a man robbed three convenience stores at gunpoint on the North Side. Chicago police found him as he drove away from the third holdup and followed him for a while. But they terminated their efforts when he struck another car and entered Lake Shore Drive.

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Robbery reports were up 20% this year as of last Monday, according to CPD’s weekly statistics report. But some areas, particularly Humboldt Park, West Town, and Logan Square, have been especially hard-hit.

In the Austin (25th) District, which includes the west side of Humboldt Park, robberies are up 107% this year. For the 28 days ending last Monday, robberies were 308% higher than the same week last year.

The Shakespeare (14th) District, which includes the eastern part of Humboldt Park and Logan Square, West Town, Bucktown, Wicker Park, and parts of Avondale, is seeing a 51% increase in robberies this year. The last 28 days were 258% higher than last year.

Robberies are up 54% this year in CPD’s Near West (12th) District, which includes parts of West Town and the Near West Side, much of the West Loop, Fulton Market, and Pilsen.

The robbery sprees have been happening on an almost daily basis for months. Here is some of our more recent coverage:

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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