On-duty IDOT Minuteman, bar patrons among victims in overnight robbery sprees

An Illinois Department of Transportation “Minuteman” was robbed inside his truck at a gas station near Armitage and the Kennedy Expressway. | IDOT

CHICAGO — An Illinois Department of Transportation “Minuteman” and a group of bar patrons are among the latest victims of armed robbery crews in Chicago.

The latest spree began Monday night and stretched into the early morning. Once again, neighborhoods in the West Town community area were hardest hit.

The IDOT worker was sitting inside his truck at the Shell gas station on Armitage, just off the Kennedy Expressway, when two men walked up and robbed him at gunpoint around 12:06 a.m. Chicago police said the robbers ran from the scene and escaped in a black Chrysler 300. They got the victim’s lunch and about $20 cash.

Earlier, three men were robbed at gunpoint as they stood outside Small Bar, 2954 North Albany, in Logan Square. According to a CPD media statement, four robbers exited a white sedan and robbed the group at gunpoint around 10:32 p.m.

An officer at the scene described the robbery crew as Black males wearing ski masks and black hoodies traveling in a white Kia.

Another man was robbed about the same time in the 2800 block of North Albany. A group of men exited a white sedan and put a gun to his head as they took his wallet.

He offered similar descriptions of the men and the car but added that the offenders wore black gloves, were armed with at least one rifle, and stood 5’8″ to 5’10” tall, according to a police report.

A 29-year-old man was robbed as he walked in the 2300 block of West Thomas around 10:30 p.m. Police said a white sedan pulled up, and four young males got out carrying rifles and handguns. They took the victim’s property and fled in a white Kia, according to a CPD media statement.

At 10:45 p.m., a female security guard was robbed as she entered a housing complex in the 1500 block of West Warren. Police said four or five men armed with rifles and pistols exited a white sedan, struck her in the face, and took her purse.

More robberies were reported early this morning.

At about 1:30 a.m., three robbers in a white vehicle robbed and pistol-whipped a man in the 2200 block of North Rockwell in Logan Square.

A few minutes later, a group of men exited a dark sedan at the intersection of Belmont and Milwaukee in Avondale and robbed another man at gunpoint.

Police have not announced any arrests.

Armed robbery reports are up 25% from last year and up 33% from 2019 across Chicago, according to data released by the police department on Monday. But the two districts where last night’s robberies occurred are seeing even bigger increases.

Robberies are up 58% this year in the Near West (12th) District. They’re up 82% compared to 2019.

In the Shakespeare (14th) District, robberies are up 56% from last year and up 109% compared to 2019.

The dramatic increases are primarily due to relentless waves of robbery sprees in which armed men, usually traveling in stolen Kias or Hyundais, commit several robberies in short spans of time. Police have made some arrests, but not enough to slow the crime wave.

West Town, Humboldt Park, and Logan Square have been especially hard-hit. Here are some of our recent stories:

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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