CHICAGO — Armed robbers fired a shot during a 40-minute holdup spree in the West Loop and River West neighborhoods on Thursday evening, according to Chicago police reports. Fortunately, no injuries were reported.
The robberies began shortly after 5 p.m. at Blue Bell Food Mart, 713 North Milwaukee. Two masked men displayed a gun and robbed the store of tobacco products and cash, then ran from the store.
A witness told police she saw the men run past her with a gun and get into a car. She managed to get the car’s license plate number, and Chicago police determined that it was a Hyundai sedan that had recently been stolen from the 1200 block of West Ohio, according to a CPD report.
The suspects were described as two Black men in their early to mid-20s dressed in black clothing. One was approximately 6 feet tall, while the other was around 5 feet, 5 inches tall.
Around 5:15 p.m., three masked men robbed a woman in the 800 block of West Monroe. A similar robbery attempt followed in the 1100 block of West Washington.
The robbers’ descriptions were similar to those of the men who robbed the food mart.
Then, at 5:43 p.m., a gunman approached a 31-year-old man in the 900 block of West Hubbard.
The offender demanded money from the victim and fired a shot into the air when the man refused to cooperate, a Chicago police spokesperson said.
After firing the shot, the assailant ran from the scene without getting anything from the victim.
Robberies in the Near West (12th) District, which includes the West Loop, are up 65% this year and up 109% compared to 2019. As of Monday, Chicago police had recorded 832 robberies in the district this year, versus 504 in 2022 and 399 in 2019.