Chicago police will surge the North Side to fight robberies this weekend, aldermen say

Armed men rob a taxi driver in the 5900 block of North Broadway on January 30, 2024 (City of Chicago)

CHICAGO — People on the Far North Side may see a little more police activity than they are used to this weekend, according to emails distributed by two Chicago aldermen on Friday. Andre Vasquez (40th) and Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth (48th) said Chicago police leaders are launching a “mission” in the area due to a rise in armed robberies and other crimes in the area.

The effort will focus on CPD’s Lincoln (20th) and Rogers Park (24th) districts, stretching from Lawrence to the northern city limits and Lake Michigan to the Chicago River. Both aldermen said units from other areas would take part in the effort, along with a command van and, weather permitting, a police helicopter.

“Please be aware that this increased police activity is precautionary and there is no need to be alarmed,” Manaa-Hoppenworth advised.

Vasquez said the resources would be deployed on Friday and Saturday.

While the city saw a 23% surge in robbery reports last year, the 20th District experienced a 16% decrease, and the 24th District’s robbery total dipped by 3%. 

But that’s not the case any longer. So far this year, robberies are up 108% in the 20th District, with 25 cases reported as of Monday. That’s far more than any year since at least 2020. Robbery reports are up 103% this year in the 24th District, which has seen 61 robberies. That’s also the most year-to-date since at least 2020.

Prosecutors recently charged a 14-year-old boy and a man with participating in separate robbery sprees that targeted North Side businesses. Cops are still hunting for another suspect. Armed robbery crews have also been working the area.

As other police districts learned last year, when groups of armed robbers commit several robberies in a night, then return to do it again and again, the robbery statistics start looking very bad very quickly.

Vasquez said CPD recently added a patrol officer to the Andersonville business corridor in response to recent burglaries.

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