CHICAGO — The armed robbery problem has become so bad in Chicago that armed robbers this morning robbed a TV news crew doing a story about an armed robbery in West Town.
That unbelievable development came as at least 30 people were robbed or carjacked during sprees between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning.
And, no, Chicago police have not announced any arrests in connection with the latest crime waves.
A reporter and photojournalist were preparing to do a live shot about the latest robbery spree when a holdup crew rolled up to them in the 1200 block of North Milwaukee shortly before 5 a.m.
Without identifying the victims as a news crew, a Chicago police spokesperson confirmed that a 28-year-old man and a 42-year-old man were outside in the 1200 block of North Milwaukee when a black SUV and a gray sedan pulled up around 4:53 a.m. Three men got out of the vehicles wearing ski masks and displaying guns.
They took the victims’ personal belongings, went into their work vehicle, and stole the station’s camera, a source familiar with the crime confirmed, adding that the victims were working for Univision.
They are the second Chicago TV news unit to be robbed this month.
Earlier, a woman was carjacked on the same block. Police said three men got out of a blue sedan around 10:12 p.m. Sunday. One pointed a gun at her and took control of her white Ford Escape.
Sunday afternoon spree
A burst of robberies hit Wicker Park and Bucktown on Sunday afternoon. Based on the description of the offenders’ getaway car, a gray Nissan with heavily tinted windows, officers believed it was the same crew responsible for a similar crime spree on Saturday.
Sunday’s afternoon holdups began around 2:55 p.m. in the 1800 block of West Cortland. A CPD spokesperson said a 54-year-old man was parking in his garage when two robbers exited a gold Nissan Altima and took property from him and a 22-year-old woman in his car.
More incidents quickly followed:
- Several masked men robbed a woman in the 400 block of North Carpenter around 4 p.m.
- A group tried to rob a man in the 1300 block of North Wicker Park around 4:05 p.m. But witnesses intervened, and the offenders fled.
- The crew tried to take a white SUV in the 1100 block of North Hermitage around 4:10 p.m. That effort also failed.
- Another robbery attempt was reported near Bloomingdale and Winchester around 4:20 p.m. Officers who responded said they spoke with a neighborhood security patrol officer who saw a delivery driver get robbed, but the victim was gone when cops arrived.
- The group apparently tried to carjack another vehicle in the 1600 block of West Chicago around 4:30 p.m. That attempt also failed, officers said.
As the robberies were unfolding, a Chicago police officer radioed that they saw the crew’s getaway car traveling on Damen near Wabansia around 4:12 p.m. But the cops also radioed that they were neither following nor pursuing the vehicle full of armed men.
Nighttime crime wave
The nighttime crime wave began around 9:45 p.m. in the 2200 block of West Hirsch. Police said a man and woman were robbed by two gunmen who exited a dark sedan with guns. The robbers repeatedly punched the male victim before escaping with the couple’s valuables.
Five minutes later, a 67-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman were robbed while walking in the 2000 block of North Hoyne. CPD said three men jumped out of a blue sedan with handguns and took their property. They punched the male victim before fleeing.
Moments later, the same crew battered a 35-year-old man who refused to give up his property in the 2100 block of North Hoyne, police said. He was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital for treatment. CPD said he was in good condition.
Around 10:31 p.m., two men robbed a 44-year-old woman and a 23-year-old woman at gunpoint in the 1300 block of West Randolph. The offenders kicked the younger woman when she refused to cooperate. She was taken to Rush Hospital.
A doorbell camera recorded this robbery in the 800 block of North Damen. The timer on the footage indicates that it occurred a little before midnight, but we could not immediately confirm that the time display is accurate:
In the 2100 block of West Ohio, a man was carjacked at gunpoint around 10:45 p.m. CPD said he was exiting his black SUV when a gunman walked up to his driver’s door with a handgun and took control of the vehicle.
About five minutes later, two armed men robbed a 33-year-old man in the 3000 block of North Lamon.
Lincoln Park in the crosshairs
After an hour-long break, robberies started popping up in Lincoln Park, each involving four or five Black males armed with guns and wearing dark clothing and ski masks: near Lincoln and Armitage around 11:40 p.m., followed by the 200 block of West Eugenie, the 2600 block of North Mildred, and near the 1600 block of North Mohawk.
In the Loop, a 24-year-old man was targeted around 12:27 a.m. today. Police said he was walking in the 600 block of South Wells when four men exited a dark sedan and told him not to move. He ran away.
That was followed by a robbery reported in the 1700 block of West Superior and another in the 1300 block of West Monroe.
Around the time the news team was robbed, more holdups were reported: the 1900 block of West Fulton around 4:40 a.m., followed by the 300 block of North Claremont.
A ‘concrete and collaborative plan’
It’s been more than a month since Ald. Daniel La Spata (1st) promised his constituents that police had a “concrete and collaborative plan” to address the relentless robbery crews that had been victimizing residents of his ward and neighboring areas.
While police have had some successes, the robberies continue unabated.
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:
- Surveillance pix show armed men robbing Logan Square auto shop (August 27, 2023)
- Good news: Chicago cops have captured a prolific armed robbery crew, but at least 2 more are still on the job (August 27, 2023)
- Shot fired during Wicker Park robbery as holdup sprees continue (August 24, 2023)
- At least 23 armed robberies reported Sunday as Chicago cops again see a robbery in progress, but don’t chase the offenders (August 21, 2023)
- The armed holdups keep happening, but the robbers may be changing the script (August 18, 2023)
- Chicago cops watch armed robbery in progress, but supervisor orders them NOT to chase the criminals; at least 11 people robbed in overnight spree (August 16, 2023)
- Armed men rob at least 11 people in 2-hour crime spree, Chicago police say (August 13, 2023)
- 3 suspects detained after Thursday afternoon robbery sprees in Logan Square, West Side (August 11, 2023)
- 2 robbed, 1 shot in about 20 minutes overnight (August 10, 2023)
- At least 13 people robbed in overnight spree; Troopers chase suspects, seize AK-47, but no arrests announced (August 9, 2023)
- Off-duty cop, 3 bicyclists, and a concealed carry holder are among the victims targeted in Chicago’s latest robbery sprees (August 8, 2023)
- As armed men commit 13 robberies at a time, Chicago alderman says ‘root causes’ must be addressed (August 7, 2023)
- Man shot during robbery in Logan Square is at least the 3rd person shot during holdups this week (August 6, 2023)
- Two-car robbery team struck at least 14 times on Thursday. And one was caught on video (August 4, 2023)
- Man shot in West Loop told police he thought gunman was trying to rob him (August 4, 2023)
- Daytime robbery sprees break out on Thursday; no arrests (August 3, 2023)
- Another night of armed robberies and Chicago cops are again ordered not to chase the offenders (August 2, 2023)
- Rideshare driver among 8 robbed by armed men in stolen Hyundai; shots fired (August 1, 2023)
- Carjackers shoot man in Bucktown, two more robberies reported nearby (July 31, 2023)
- Gunmen targeted victims at bank ATMs during Sunday afternoon robbery spree, Chicago police say (July 31)
- At least 14 robbed Friday in morning, nighttime holdup sprees (July 29, 2023)
- 14-year-old committed 12 armed robberies in 45 minutes, Chicago police say (July 26, 2023)
- 4 armed robbery suspects in custody after crashing on Eisenhower Expressway (July 25, 2023)
- 12-year-old boy gets mugged as Chicago’s robbery surge continues (July 24, 2023)
- As armed robberies continue, an alderman promises police have a ‘concrete and collaborative plan’ (July 22, 2023)
- Daylight robberies return to West Loop, Logan Square; cops warn of holdup crew responsible for 60+ crimes (July 20, 2023)
- Daytime robbery spree ends with arrest after Chicago police supervisor authorizes vehicle pursuit (July 19, 2023)
- 2 more off-duty cops are robbed during overnight robbery spree that claimed at least 5 victims (July 17, 2023)
- Off-duty cop robbed in River North, woman carjacked in Lincoln Park, construction crew targeted in Logan Square as holdup wave rolls on (July 15, 2023)
- Robberies reported in Wicker Park, Bucktown, River North overnight as cops try to contain surging crime wave (July 13, 2023)
- Boy, 17, charged with mugging man near Daley Plaza as Divvy bike-riding robbers continue to hit the Loop (July 10, 2023)
- Dozens of victims robbed overnight as armed crews run rampant across Chicago (July 9, 2023)
- More (Yes, MORE) robberies reported in Bucktown, Logan Square, Humboldt Park (July 8, 2023)
- At least 9 armed robberies, carjackings reported in Logan Square and Humboldt Park overnight (July 7, 2023)
- Businesses, customers robbed in overnight holdup spree in Logan Square, Lakeview (July 6, 2023)
- 8 women robbed in 11 minutes overnight as Lincoln Park robbery problem grows and grows (July 4, 2023)
- Rifle-toting crew robs 10 people across Chicago on Monday morning (July 3, 2023)
- 3 more robbed in Lincoln Park overnight as crime pattern keeps growing (June 30, 2023)
- DePaul student among 4 victims in overnight robbery, carjacking spree (June 29, 2023)
- Armed men claim at least 8 victims in overnight robbery, carjacking spree (June 24, 2023)