Good news: Chicago cops have captured a prolific armed robbery crew, but at least 2 more are still on the job

CHICAGO — After enduring months of persistent robbery sprees that claimed hundreds of victims in Chicago, there is finally some good news to report. But there’s more bad news, too.

Let’s start with the good stuff. A specialized group of Chicago police officers arrested a four-person robbery crew early Saturday morning and recovered a significant amount of evidence and weapons.

CPD has not announced charges, but we have learned that an undercover police unit trailed the suspects and saw the group commit robberies and withdraw victims’ cash from ATMs.

Cops recovered four weapons, including at least one rifle, car keys, key fobs, a fob programmer, and other evidence after the arrests, according to a source who believes the crew is responsible for dozens of armed robberies.

We’ll stay on the story and report back if prosecutors approve charges.

The not-so-good news is that at least two more armed robbery crews are still on the loose. They hit hard, executing two crime waves, one in the morning and the other in the late afternoon and evening.

One of the crews was bold enough to commit two robberies at the same West Town carwash, CPD reports show.

They robbed one man at the Grand & Oakley Car Wash, 2300 West Grand, a little before 7 a.m. Displaying three firearms, including a rifle and a TEC-9 style firearm, the group fled in a blue SUV.

Three more people were robbed at the same location about 12 hours later during the evening spree. A CPD report said four or five masked men displayed guns, including one that appeared to be a TEC-9 or Uzi, around 6:57 p.m. Two of the victims ran away before the police arrived.

Most of the morning robberies involved a group of young masked men traveling in that blue SUV, according to information shared with CWBChicago:

  • A man was robbed while loading his car near Monroe and Leavitt around 6:50 a.m.
  • Another man was targeted in the 2500 block of West Huron around 7 a.m.
  • A third man was robbed in the 2600 block of West Iowa around the same time.

The evening spree got off to an interesting start around 4:20 p.m. when a group of armed and masked men came face-to-face with a business owner who was also armed in the 1100 block of North Western Avenue, a report said. They jumped into a gray car and sped away.

An officer at the scene said the group consisted of three Black men in their late teens. One wore a navy shirt and jeans with a black hoodie. Another wore a white t-shirt with a black hoodie. The third wore a gray hoodie. A fourth person served as their driver.

About ten minutes later, an off-duty police officer disrupted an apparent robbery attempt near Leavitt and Webster in Bucktown. He chased the crew, one of whom had a rifle, but they got away in a gray sedan.

More armed robberies followed, most involving masked men in a gray sedan who displayed guns, often including a rifle.

Four victims were targeted in an alley between the 2300 blocks of Lowell and Kildare in Hermosa around 4:45 p.m. Another group was robbed in the 2100 block of South Halsted about 30 minutes later. The offenders pistol-whipped a man during that crime.

In Logan Square, a man was robbed as he unloaded his car in the 2300 block of North Ridgeway around 5:40 p.m.

Three more men were robbed in the neighborhood at about 7:21 p.m. Police said they were standing outside when a gray sedan stopped next to them and four robbers got out displaying handguns.

Robbery reports are up 22% this year, according to CPD’s latest 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 Monday, robberies were 322% higher than the same period 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 49% increase in robberies this year. The last 28 days were 190% 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.

Holdup 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