CHICAGO — The armed robbery crew that committed a string of armed robberies and carjackings on the North Side on Tuesday night went on to burglarize two Ulta Beauty stores a few hours later, Chicago police say.
In a community alert issued Wednesday, CPD now says a group of up to six men committed six robberies and carjackings: in the 1800 block of West Belle Plaine around 7 p.m.; the 5300 block of North Damen at 10:28 p.m.; the 4400 block of North Lincoln at 10:50 p.m.; the 2200 block of West Irving Park at 11:17 p.m.; the 900 block of West Grace at 11:30 p.m.; and the 3500 block of North Clark at 11:38 p.m.
Each time, they displayed guns and took property from the victims, including an 84-year-old man that they battered at the Damen Avenue robbery, police said. In three cases, the crew carjacked drivers after boxing the victims in with two previously hijacked vehicles, according to CPD. The hijackings occurred on Grace, Clark, and Lincoln.
They switched gears and went into burglary mode on Wednesday morning. Police say they first broke into a store in the 2700 block of North Clybourn around 2:30 a.m. The group moved on to the first block of South Halsted, where they broke into another store at 3:05 a.m.
CPD didn’t identify the stores, but a source said they were both Ulta Beauty locations. Burglars forced their way through windows and stole large amounts of perfume from both locations. The Halsted store alone lost $10,000 worth of merchandise, according to CPD.
The department described the suspects as Black males between 16 and 20 years old. They wore dark hoodies and black ski masks.
Anyone with information about them can contact Area Three detectives at 312-744-8263. Refer to crime pattern P23-3-091.
Here is our original report about the carjackings and robberies from Wednesday morning:
A group of armed carjackers who caravaned across the North Side are suspected of hijacking two drivers in Wrigleyville and another in North Center after robbing two men in Lincoln Square on Tuesday night. Chicago police say no arrests have been made in the hour-long crime spree.
An 84-year-old man and a 28-year-old man were targeted in the first robbery, reported at 10:28 p.m. in the 5300 block of North Damen, a CPD spokesperson said. The men were outside when five or six robbers robbed them at gunpoint and then battered both men. EMS treated the older man at the scene, but neither man was seriously injured, police said.
After the holdup, the robbers fled south in two cars, one white and one orange.
About 30 minutes later, a group of four to six armed men used two cars to block in a driver in the 4400 block of North Lincoln. Chicago police said the offenders forced the man from his car, and two of them drove away with the Toyota Camry.
The crew left a stolen Hyundai at the scene, according to a witness. Its steering column was stripped, and its side window was broken out.
Moments later, a witness called 911 to report three carloads of masked men speeding down Western Avenue near Waveland while waving guns out of the vehicles: a Toyota Camry, an orange SUV, and a third vehicle.
Two carjackings were reported in Wrigleyville around 11:30 p.m.
In the 900 block of West Grace, two vehicles filled with armed men boxed in a 29-year-old Uber driver’s car around 11:30 p.m. He ran away and hid after seeing the men get out of the cars with guns.
A few minutes later, a 25-year-old woman was carjacked while parking her car in the 3500 block of North Clark, according to a CPD media statement.
The woman said two vehicles boxed her in, and “multiple” carjackers exited the cars with guns to force her from her vehicle, the statement said.
According to police, the offenders beat and robbed another woman who was in the victim’s car.
Chicago police officers reported that they saw the carjacking caravan, which included the orange SUV and three other vehicles, speeding away from the area around 11:35 p.m. A few minutes later, a CPD surveillance officer said the crew drove onto southbound Lake Shore Drive at Belmont.
With the exception of the first robbery, all of the crimes occurred in the Town Hall (19th) District. Robberies there are up 2% compared to last year and 50% compared to 2019.
The Lincoln Square robbery was in the Lincoln (20th) District, where robbery reports are down 19% from last year. They are up 36% compared to 2019, though.
Both districts are faring much better than the city at large. Overall, robbery reports are up 25% this year and up 38% versus 2019.