Video shows lightning-fast robbery crew striking in Humboldt Park: ‘Whatever you want, I’ll give it to you!’

Three gunmen rob a man in the 800 block of North California on August 22, 2023. | Ring

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:

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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