Robbery and carjacking crew hits River North, Lower West Side overnight

In a newly-released video, armed men rob a woman near Lawrence and Long during an early morning crime spree on January 29, 2024 (CPD1617Scanner)

CHICAGO — Armed men robbed a victim in River North overnight and quickly headed west to carjack another victim minutes later, according to Chicago police reports. It’s another indication that armed robbery crews, which resurfaced dramatically the night before, may once again be establishing themselves as a driver of violence and crime in the city.

The River North victim was robbed at the BP service station and Subway restaurant, 750 North Wells, around 2:50 a.m. Police said the 65-year-old was confronted by four men, two armed with guns, who took his valuables. They fled in a white sedan after getting the man’s watch, wallet, and phone.

That car, a Nissan Maxima, rolled up to a Subway restaurant in the 2300 block of West Cermak about 30 minutes later. Three men jumped out, pistol-whipped another man, and stole his white 2022 Kia Stinger, according to initial information.

No arrests have been announced.

At least a dozen people were robbed by an armed robbery crew that went on an hours-long crime spree Sunday night. Chicago police issued a community alert about the crimes on Monday.

In the alert, CPD linked the robbery team to holdups in:

  • the 400 block of West Wrightwood at 8:40 p.m.
  • the 2600 block of North Halsted at 8:55 p.m.
  • the 2300 block of West Nelson at 9:30 p.m.
  • the 1900 block of West Armitage at 9:37 p.m.
  • the 400 block of South Plymouth at 11 p.m.
  • the 400 block of South State at 11:10 p.m.
  • the 1500 block of North Wood at 11:19 p.m.
  • the 200 block of North Peoria at 11:23 p.m.
  • the 2000 block of West Adams at 11:32 p.m.
  • the 1200 block of North Central at 1:30 a.m. on Monday

The alert described the robbers as four Black males between 15 and 25 years old, wearing black ski masks, black hoodies, and black pants. They are 5’6″ to 5’10” tall, 150 to 200 pounds, and traveling in a silver Kia and a gray or brown GMC SUV. All had handguns.

Additional robberies were reported early Monday:

A DePaul University student was targeted on the corner of Bissell and Belden around 2 a.m., according to the school. The victim told officials that men wearing all-black clothing jumped out of a white car and demanded his property while displaying a gun. He ran away without giving them anything.

About 15 minutes later, two women were robbed in the 700 block of West Cornelia in Boystown. Three men jumped out of a white Kia with a sparkly license plate frame and took their property at gunpoint.

The same group is suspected of chasing down and robbing a man in the 1000 block of North Marshfield, too. That occurred around 2:35 a.m.

A video posted to Twitter on Monday afternoon shows just how quickly these street robberies unfold. The footage, secured by the @CPD1617Scanner, shows armed men getting out of a car to rob a woman near Lawrence and Long early on January 29.

At least four other people were robbed in a similar fashion that morning.

For almost two minutes, the men shake the woman down. They also hit her in the face and pistol-whip her. After they drive away, she tries to flag down passing motorists for help, with little luck. Even a CTA bus driver moseyed on down the road as she tried to get assistance. Watch:

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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