Violent robbers strike again Monday, targeting victims from 16 to 68 in yet another spree; alderman warns about ‘suspiciously approaching Kias and Hyundais’

Two men mug a 68-year-old woman in the 4300 block of North Linder during a crime spree on February 19, 2024. (@CPD1617Scanner)

CHICAGO — For the third time in under 24 hours, armed robbers went on a violent crime spree across the North Side during the midday hours Monday, targeting victims who ranged in age from 16 to 68. Chicago police are still putting together all the details, but here’s what we have learned so far based on preliminary information. 

The robberies began around 11:15 a.m. in the 4300 block of North Linder in Portage Park. A CPD spokesperson said a 68-year-old woman was on the sidewalk when a car pulled up, and two robbers jumped out to attack her.

One of the men repeatedly struck her with a blunt object, police said. A video grab shared on Twitter by @CPD1617Scanner showed the woman lying on the ground as two men stood over her. She suffered bruising to her head and body and was treated at the scene, the CPD spokesperson said.

Both men sped away in their getaway car after taking the woman’s purse, credit cards, and other property. They were described as young Black males wearing masks. You can see their clothing in the image above.

Shortly after noon, more robbery reports were filed in the Austin neighborhood. 

Then, the crew moved to the North Side, hitting some of the same neighborhoods that were targeted in a robbery spree on Sunday evening. Several victims reported that the robbers were armed with a hammer or tool. As CWBChicago reported on Monday morning, victims during Sunday’s spree said they were attacked by men armed with a club-like steering wheel locking device that helps deter auto theft.

Several robberies were reported, one after another, beginning around 1:40 p.m. Each time, two men jumped out of a car to rob victims, primarily women, on the street. They punched a woman and took her purse and phone near Washtenaw and Albion in West Rogers Park. They stole a 16-year-old girl’s backpack in the 2300 block of West Morse. They struck again near Rockwell and Summerdale and the 4800 block of North Bell, both in Lincoln Square.

As 2 o’clock neared, they were in Ravenswood, robbing a victim in the 2100 block of West Ainslie and another near Eastwood and Claremont.

Then, they started moving west: the 4100 block of North Troy and the 6000 block of North Elston, where a 26-year-old woman was dragged by men who took her purse. Like some of the earlier victims, police said the victim on Elston was struck in the mouth and arm with a metal object by men who forced her to the ground.

Witnesses and victims offered conflicting descriptions, with some saying the robbers were White or Hispanic while others said they were Black. While most agreed that the getaway car was a Kia or Hyundai, some people thought it was black, and others thought it was gray. Some robbers were seen wearing ski masks. Others wore N95 masks, the heavier industrial-style mask that became popular during COVID.

But some of the descriptions appeared to link at least some of the offenders to previous sprees. Like the red-sleeved coat seen in the photo at the start of this story. It seems similar to a coat described by at least one victim during Sunday’s spree: a black coat with red and white elements.

Some of the latest victims said the robbers wore white gloves. That’s a detail reported by victims targeted during a spree that hit Logan Square and the Northwest Side on Friday morning.

In addition to the robbery sprees reported on Sunday night and midday Monday, another wave of robberies rolled through Lakeview on Monday morning. Those crimes were a little different, involving up to eight men armed with multiple firearms. Some victims were robbed; others were robbed and carjacked.

Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th) sent an email to his constituents on Monday evening saying officials believe the robbers on Sunday evening and midday Monday were using stolen Kias and Hyundais.

“The City’s Priority Response Team will be adding patrols in the 20th District tonight,” Vasquez claimed. “The district will be prioritizing patrols in and around targeted areas. Neighbors are encouraged to [be] on alert for suspiciously approaching Kias and Hyundais, which are more susceptible to theft due to vehicle software vulnerabilities. These stolen vehicles are then often used to commit additional crimes.”

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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