CHICAGO — A group of armed men that robbed three convenience stores in Logan Square and Avondale on Friday morning may have also robbed a physician near his Bucktown clinic.
A Chicago police unit tried to pull over the crew’s getaway car after the doctor was robbed, but a CPD supervisor ordered them to terminate those efforts, according to police radio transmissions.
Starting around 7:05 a.m. and ending about 20 minutes later, armed men robbed 7-Eleven convenience stores at 3005 North Pulaski, 3600 West Belmont, and 2020 North California, separate police reports said.
Two or three masked men wearing hoodies displayed guns during each robbery and got away with a mix of cash and lottery tickets.
“An officer who reviewed video of the Belmont robbery said three people were involved: a Black male wearing a hoodie with the word “justice” on one sleeve; a Black male wearing a black hoodie with orange gloves; and a Black male wearing tan clothing with black gloves. An officer who reviewed video of the Belmont robbery said three people were involved: a Black male wearing a hoodie with the word “justice” on one sleeve; a Black male wearing a black hoodie with orange gloves; and a Black male wearing tan clothing with black gloves.
The robbery on California involved a similarly described group, except the robber wearing tan clothes appeared to be a woman.
Each time, the crew escaped in a white Hyundai with a broken rear side window.
Then, around 7:45 p.m., a 32-year-old physician was robbed at gunpoint in the 2100 block of West Wabansia. He told police that two men stepped out of an alley and demanded his property at gunpoint, a CPD spokesperson said.
Patrol officers spotted four masked men riding in the white Hyundai a few minutes later. Their supervisor quickly ordered them to terminate their apprehension efforts. Listen:
Detectives are also investigating at least two more armed robberies that occurred around 5:30 a.m., one in the 4500 block of West Augusta and the other in the 4300 block of West Haddon, that involved a white vehicle.
CPD’s strict vehicle pursuit policy has hampered Chicago police efforts to tamp down on the city’s soaring robbery tally.
The 11-page policy, enacted in 2020, specifically prohibits Chicago officers from pursuing anyone for a traffic offense other than DUI. It also explicitly states that CPD will not discipline any member for ending a motor vehicle pursuit. If they continue a pursuit, though, they’ll be held responsible for anything that goes wrong.
Those policies have benefits and consequences.
Chicago has paid out tens of millions of dollars for lives lost and injuries caused by pursuits that ended with crashes. CPD supervisors have become so skittish about the possibility of something going wrong that they’ve ordered cops to stop pursuing a car suspected of carrying murderers.
In observance of the policy, cops downtown decided not to pursue a stolen BMW wanted for a series of armed robberies last May. Within an hour of that decision, men who emerged from the BMW shot and robbed Dakotah Earley in Lincoln Park.
So, the benefit is fewer people will be injured by speeding and crashing cars. As a result, the city will face fewer lawsuits.
With robbery reports soaring this year, at least one alderman is promising to take action to give Chicago police more room to pursue violent criminals.
The consequence is that robbery crews can rob scores of people across the city during nightly crime sprees, occasionally shooting victims, because the police aren’t apprehending them.
As a result, Chicago police have been relying on Illinois State Police troopers, whose pursuit policy is less restrictive than CPD’s, to handle pursuits. And ISP has been effective when their units are available.