CHICAGO — The first thing they took was his pizza. But that would soon be the least of his problems.
Home surveillance video recorded this week in West Town shows just how quickly a street robbery unfolds. And in Chicago, particularly West Town, street robbery sprees like the one the crew in the video was executing are claiming dozens of victims every week.
What you’ll see in the video below is a man walking in the 800 block of North California around 1:37 a.m. Tuesday. It was the first of several robberies committed that morning, each involving three masked gunmen who jumped out of a black SUV, possibly a Jeep, according to Chicago police reports.
The SUV stops in the street, and the doors fly open. He immediately knows he’s in trouble.
“Oh s**t! What you want? Whatever you want, I’ll give it to you!”
The first robber to reach him pulls the pizza box from his hand, then backs away to hold him at gunpoint while two accomplices search the victim for valuables.
One demands his phone password, which he promptly surrenders. But that wasn’t good enough. A hooded gunman raises a pistol to the man’s face and threatens him should he be lying about the PIN.
Fortunately, the victim was not injured.
Here’s the video. Please note that it does contain adult language.
About 30 minutes later, another man and his girlfriend reported that three masked gunmen who got out of a black Jeep robbed them in the 1700 block of North Drake.
In Bucktown, a man sought help at a Chicago Fire Department firehouse in the 1900 block of North Damen after being robbed by three armed men around 3:25 a.m.
The robbery in the video took place in Humboldt Park in CPD’s Near West (12th) District. Last week, the district recorded 23 robberies, up 130% from the same week last year. In the four-week period ending Sunday, the district saw 107 robberies, up from 51 during the same time last year.
Virtually all of this year’s robberies were similar to the one you saw. Most occurred during short sprees.
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.
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.
Holdup sprees have been happening on an almost daily basis for months. Here is some of our more recent coverage:
- 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)