CHICAGO — A carload of men armed with pipes was twice caught on video as they apparently tried to commit crimes in West Town on Wednesday. The same group is suspected of beating a man with pipes and robbing him during the early morning spree.
Surveillance cameras first recorded the group as they pulled up to Aberdeen Tap, 440 North Aberdeen, around 2:20 a.m. Wearing masks and hoodies, they climb out of a car and clamber over the patio dining fence.
Look closely, and you’ll see the guy wearing a blue hoodie holding a pipe. Watch:
As they lined up outside the bar, one of the tavern’s employees yelled at them, and they hurried back to the car, according to Roger Romanelli, Executive Director of the Fulton Market Association. Police also responded to a 911 call from the bar regarding the incident.
Fortunately, the crew arrived after the bar was closed for the night. Other West Town bars have not been so lucky. At least three have been targeted in recent weeks by robbers who’ve taken money from the businesses and customers. The successful robberies involved two or three men armed with handguns, not pipes.
The Aberdeen Tap’s camera angle may look familiar to you. One year ago, the camera was rolling as someone began firing from a nearby car, sending patrons on the outdoor dining patio diving for cover. A bullet struck the bar’s manager in the leg.
About 30 minutes after the carload of men sped away from Aberdeen Tap on Wednesday, a private town car driver was nearly carjacked by a group of men armed with pipes who hopped out of an identical car in the 800 block of North Wolcott.
The driver’s dashcam rolled as he threw his car into reverse and escaped from the crew. Chicago Critter was the first to secure that video:
Keep your eye on the guy on the left of this video. You’ll see a pipe in his hand, and he appears to be wearing a blue hoodie with a white logo on the chest—just like one of the men in the Aberdeen Tap footage.
A Chicago police spokesperson confirmed that police responded to the 800 block of North Wolcott at the time of the incident, but no report was filed.
But a report was filed after a 58-year-old man was beaten and robbed by two men armed with pipes a few minutes later.
The victim was arriving for work in the 2400 block of West Huron when two men walked up and began hitting him with pipes around 2:55 a.m. They took his property and fled. A CPD spokesperson said the victim was treated at St. Mary’s Hospital.
Robberies in the two Chicago police districts serving the West Town community area are way up this year: up 54% in one and 61% in the other. Compared to 2019, they’re up 95% and 70%.
“Chicago’s crime crisis is beyond control, unbearable and life-threatening to all. Mayor Johnson must act immediately,” the Fulton Market Association said Thursday afternoon.
Romanelli believes Mayor Brandon Johnson should hold press conferences at least once a week to make it clear that criminals will be caught and prosecuted in Chicago.
“Criminals are rampant and chronic because there’s an insufficient city-wide camera network, and criminals think they’ll never be caught,” he said.
“Last year when a potential kidnapper was threatening West Loop women, he was caught thanks to security cameras. Cameras work, but Chicago isn’t working because the police don’t have enough cameras—or enough officers!”
And, he said, people returning from prison need better support: “Immediately, Johnson should release some of the city’s $2.5 billion hidden TIF funds to help convicts get far better job training services, education services, addictions counseling and other services to help them rehabilitate their lives.”