2 robbed, 1 shot in about 20 minutes overnight

Chicago police are investigating two armed robberies in Bucktown and a shooting in nearby Noble Square that all unfolded within about 20 minutes early Thursday. A third robbery was also reported in Logan Square.

The first robbery occurred around 1:22 a.m. in the 1800 block of North Avondale. CPD said a 37-year-old man was standing outside when three robbers exited a white Kia with handguns and took his valuables.

The same group is believed to be responsible for robbing another man in the 1900 block of West Wabansia about 15 minutes later.

Between the two robberies, a 24-year-old man was shot while driving in the 1600 block of West Augusta. He told police he was in his car when a light-colored Kia approached and someone fired shots at him, grazing his right shoulder.

He arrived at St. Mary’s Hospital in his car a short time later.

Chicago police have not provided a motive for the shooting. Investigators found a dark-colored Kia with a peeled steering wheel at the shooting scene, but it is not clear if it is connected with the shooting.

Later, a man flagged down police in the 2100 block of North Milwaukee after two men battered and robbed him around 2:30 a.m. The offenders got away with the victim’s wallet and phone. The police summoned EMS to the scene to treat his head injury.

For the second time in a week, Ald. Daniel La Spata (1st) addressed the city’s ongoing robbery surge in an email to his constituents. Here’s what he wrote:

Dear neighbors,
 
The shocking and frustrating violent crime of recent weeks compels my office and myself to directly address the public safety crises we’re experiencing, particularly as it relates to robberies. As we noted last Friday, while year to date shootings are down 73% in the ward (2022: 15; 2023: 4), carjackings down 73% as well (2022: 37; 2023: 10), and homicides down 100% (2022: 4; 2023: 0), robberies are up 95% (2022: 103; 2023: 201). A majority of these are since July 1st alone, with 105 robberies since that date. It does no one any good to sugarcoat this present reality; it is frustrating, angering, and wholly unacceptable. I’m taking this moment to acknowledge the strategies that have been effective in the past and present, how are police districts are responding, and what our next steps are.
 
Current Strategies and Investments:
 
I would first like to acknowledge the great work that the new Vehicular Hijacking Task Force is doing in decreasing carjackings across the city. The significant decline in carjacking incidents noticeably correlates to the implementation of this new Task Force at the beginning of 2023; year to date, carjackings throughout the city are down 25.1% compared to 2022 and down 73.7% in our Ward. In the past 28 days, that number is even better, at a decrease of 75%. I’d like to commend our teams who are not only responding to these crimes in progress but also committing to the investigations to ensure these offenders are brought to justice. 
 
On the preventative side of crime, my office works very closely with violence prevention partners such as the Alliance of Local Service Organizations (ALSO), workforce training programs like READI, and mental health partners such as Healthcare Alternative Systems (HAS). These types of programs provide solutions to the root causes of crime such as housing instability, lack of resources or opportunities, and mental illnesses. The work that these partners do to prevent violence from occurring in the first place is paramount to our Ward’s public safety, as it means fewer incidents in general for our officers to respond to and more resources for our officers when they do have to respond to a violent crime in progress.
 
We have also used policy and infrastructure investments to deter violent crime and instability. Examples include enhanced streetlighting on Milwaukee Ave; overnight parking bans on Milwaukee Ave and Division Street; and the placement of new pod cameras and license plate readers throughout the ward. This has been supplemented by an entertainment corridor detail serving corridors in Wicker Park, Logan Square, and West Town. Collectively, we have seen significant impacts from these investments, particularly in the Wicker Park beat of 1424 (shootings down 66%, robberies down 27%, carjackings down 100%). These investments are borne out of collaboration between our office, local businesses, our police districts, and relevant non-profit partners.
 
Scope of Robberies and Strategic Action Moving Forward
 
The most disheartening and distressing issue that my office faces currently are the widespread armed robberies across the Ward and the Northwest side as a whole. I speak every week with our 14th District leadership to discuss every crime statistic that has occurred over the previous week, and the spike in robberies we’ve seen over the past month is alarming. In the majority of these robbery sprees, the incidents all occur within a few minutes of each other and are conducted by a single team between the hours of 10pm and 6am. I have spoken with our 14th District Commander regarding the best way to address these incidents, and they are working on a plan together with several other Northwest Side Districts and Area Detectives to combat these robberies and apprehend the offenders, similar to the above Vehicular Hijacking Task Force model. It is our intention that not only will this team have increased ability to respond to these crimes, but they will also prevent further incidents due to the apprehension of repeat offenders. 
 
Next Steps
 
As our 14th District Commander, Elizabeth Collazo, has recently been promoted to a new position outside the district and is onboarding her replacement. In the near future, we will be coordinating a public meeting with our CAPS Sergeant Mike Edens to introduce new leadership; we will share reasonable information on the strategies being deployed, and take your questions to the extent possible. We will endeavor to coordinate a similar meeting for our 12th district residents, potentially coordinating with adjacent wards. I have also asked our police districts to provide locations for new pod cameras and license plate readers that can be funded through the city’s capital budget (this is no longer an aldermanic menu money item).
 
I am deeply committed to public safety in our Ward, and believe using both a holistic approach – grounded in infrastructure, policy, and wrap-around services, as well as policing – is the best way to achieve a safe, secure environment for all 1st Ward residents. I will continue to discuss crime statistics with our Districts and work collaboratively on any requests they have from our office to support them in their endeavors to create a safer neighborhood, whether it be through additional POD cameras, lighting, or other resources. I encourage residents to attend their local BEAT meetings to speak with officers directly about any public safety concerns they may have and any potential improvements they can make on their end for increasing the safety in their own neighborhoods. Through the cooperation of our residents, our partners, our police officers, our district councils, and policy initiatives, we can create a safe 1st Ward for all.
 
Finally, I would like to officially send a warm farewell to Commander Collazo at the 14th District. She has been an absolute pleasure to work with and while my office will undoubtedly miss working in collaboration with such great leadership, I am looking forward to furthering the great relationship we have with the 14th District under their new Commander.

Sincerely,
Alderman La Spata

While the robbery sprees have been happening 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