State police pursue, arrest suspect in West Ridge armed robbery sprees

CHICAGO — Thank goodness the Illinois State Police are allowed to chase violent criminals. Without them, Chicago might never get a handle on its ongoing armed robbery nightmare.

Overnight, state troopers once again pursued and arrested a suspect who may be responsible for six armed robberies in West Ridge over the past two nights.

Chicago police responded to two robberies late Thursday: in the 2600 block of West Devon around 11 p.m. and near Estes and Washtenaw a few minutes later.

Both victims reported that a man driving a dark-colored SUV robbed them at gunpoint on the street. CPD quickly surmised that the SUV was the Toyota RAV4, recently stolen from Lincolnwood, that was used in four robberies the night before.

State troopers spotted the RAV4 and launched a pursuit, a snippet of which was posted to Twitter:

Police eventually caught the driver near the intersection of Byron and Neva in Dunning just before midnight. At least one of last night’s victims identified him as the person who robbed them.

On Tuesday night, four more robberies were reported in under an hour, all within a few blocks of each other in West Ridge.

CPD released a community alert about those crimes yesterday, saying they occurred between 11:23 p.m. and about midnight in the 6200 block of North Talman, the 6300 block of North Rockwell, and twice in the 6300 block of North California.

All of Tuesday’s holdups involved a solo gunman who traveled in a dark SUV, CPD said.

ISP troopers, whose pursuit policy is far less restrictive than CPD’s, chased down a carload of robbery suspects earlier this week, too. Two boys, ages 15 and 16, who were in the vehicle, are charged with two counts of armed robbery and gun possession.

The pair was part of a three-person crew that first robbed a 36-year-old woman around 9:15 p.m. in the 1600 block of North Rockwell in Wicker Park, according to CPD. Less than ten minutes later, they robbed a 51-year-old woman in the 2000 block of North Mozart in Logan Square. Police said the woman was walking down the street when two males exited a white SUV with rifles and demanded her property.

CPD officers spotted the SUV, a white Ford Escape, in the area about five minutes later. ISP moved in and began the pursuit, which ended when the robbers crashed into an oncoming vehicle near Western and Hubbard around 9:35 p.m.

Here is some of our recent coverage of the city’s ongoing robbery spree problem:

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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