Strings of store robberies, street hold-ups reported Friday night

CHICAGO — Armed robbers targeted three stores on the north and near west sides Friday night. Chicago police are also investigating a handful of street robberies that occurred around the same time, including a carjacking in Ravenswood.

Later, Illinois State Police troopers and Chicago police pursued vehicles suspected of being involved in robberies elsewhere in the city, resulting in at least two arrests.

The first robbery occurred in the 2800 block of West Diversey in Logan Square around 8:22 p.m. Chicago police said a 68-year-old delivery driver was robbed by a man who displayed a handgun and took his valuables.

Officers at the scene, however, said two or three robbers were involved. They described the suspects as Hispanic males wearing masks and standing 5’4″ to 5’5″ tall. The crew may have escaped in a minivan.

Another street robbery occurred about 15 minutes later in the 1900 block of North Harding, also in Logan Square. There, the robbers were described as two Black males wearing masks and dark clothing who fled in a black Jeep.

Cops are also investigating three robberies of food and liquor stores that occurred in about an hour, starting around 9:30 p.m. at Happy Days Food & Liquor, 3755 West Montrose.

Employees were able to lock the doors before two men armed with firearms got inside, according to officers who responded to the store’s 911 call. They said the suspects were two Black males; one wearing a black hoodie had a pistol, and the other, wearing a blue hoodie, carried a rifle.

Two men matching those descriptions successfully robbed Blanz Pantry, 4632 North Kedzie, around 9:40 p.m. Officers said they struck an employee in the face with a handgun during the crime.

About 30 minutes later, two men robbed Crater Food and Liquor, 1148 North Milwaukee, in Noble Square.

While the store robberies were underway, a Ravenswood man was robbed and carjacked behind his home in the 4500 block of North Lincoln. Two armed men took the victim’s valuables and his 2023 Honda Accord around 10:05 p.m.

Later, around 12:30 a.m., Chicago police responded to a series of store robberies along 35th Street between California and Ashland. CPD units spotted two cars that may have been linked to the robberies, and a supervisor authorized the cops to pursue the suspects, according to police radio transmissions.

State troopers joined the effort, and at least two suspects were taken into custody after a lengthy pursuit that stretched from the Southwest Side to near Goose Island.

No charges have been announced as of Saturday morning. We will post updated information if any are filed.

Robbery reports across Chicago are up 25% this year and up 33% compared to 2019. Some areas are experiencing even more significant increases, particularly on the Near West Side.

The Shakespeare (14th) District, based in Logan Square and serving neighborhoods like Bucktown, Wicker Park, and part of Humboldt Park, has experienced a 56% increase in robberies this year. Reports are up 109% from 2019.

In the Near West (12th) District, which includes areas from Humboldt Park to the West Loop, robberies have increased 58% this year. They’re up 82% compared to 2019.

Robbery sprees have been popping up several times a week, with West Town, Humboldt Park, and Logan Square particularly hard-hit. Our reporting has been exhaustive, but here are some 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