Robbery spree sweeps across Lakeview, Ravenswood two days after leaders claimed to have an anti-robbery strategy

CHICAGO — Armed men went on a 45-minute crime spree Sunday night, robbing at least four people as they made their way from Lakeview to Ravenswood. So far, no arrests have been made. At least two other robberies were also reported on the North Side, including one in which men tried to steal a woman’s dog.

The robberies occurred just two days after Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and CPD Supt. Larry Snelling claimed to have a strategy to fight the city’s growing robbery problem. Their announcement on Friday came barely six months after Johnson claimed in September that CPD had deployed a strategy to address the robbery problem.

Last night’s spree began around 9:30 p.m. in the 3100 block of North Seminary. A woman told police that two men, one armed with a gun, jumped out of an older black sedan and demanded her property.

About 15 minutes later, a 25-year-old woman was robbed in a similar fashion in the 1500 block of West School. Two men exited a car, displayed a gun, and demanded her personal belongings, a CPD spokesperson said. She was not injured.

Another woman was robbed around 10 p.m. in the 1400 block of West Leland. Again, two men got out of a black sedan, displayed a gun, and robbed her.

A few minutes after that, an identical robbery occurred in the 4600 block of North Paulina. This time, the robbers hit the female victim. Police brought paramedics to the scene to check her out.

In each case, the robbers were described as two Black men in their late teens or early 20s. One wore a white hoodie, the other a black hoodie. Both wore face masks, and some victims said they wore gloves, too. At least one accomplice remained in the getaway car as the men carried out the robberies.

Further north, a 51-year-old woman was targeted by robbers as she walked her dog in the 1300 block of West Albion between 10:15 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. A police spokesperson said a white sedan pulled up and two men got out while displaying firearms. They tried to rob her, but left without getting anything, the spokesperson stated. An individual familiar with the situation told CWBChicago that the men tried to take the woman’s dog. 

Overnight, a woman was carjacked in the Uptown neighborhood. The 23-year-old told police she was in an alley near Kenmore and Montrose when a small group of men walked up and dragged her from her 2022 Mazda. The primary hijacker was a Black male wearing a ski mask who stood about 6’2″ tall, she said.

Last September, as robberies across the city marched toward a 23% annual increase, Mayor Johnson assured the public that CPD had a strategy to reverse the tide.

“It’s not lost on anyone that the rise in robberies has left a great deal of trepidation and anxiety,” Johnson said on September 14, according to a Block Club Chicago report. “Our police department is deploying a strategy to respond and to address this growing dynamic. And I’m grateful that there is a strategic plan that is also coordinating efforts with the state as well as the county.”

Like last year, robbery crews that commit strings of robberies, sometimes more than a dozen at a time, are primarily responsible for the growing problem. On Friday, Johnson and Snelling summoned the media to police headquarters so they could trot out yet another strategy, which did not include any new ideas.

“Our message is clear,” Snelling told the assembled news cameras, “there will be consequences.”

CPD has not updated its weekly statistics report online since March 31. As of that date, robberies were up 1% citywide, but increases were much greater in other neighborhoods.

On the Near North Side, the local police district’s robbery count was up 15%  as of March 31. Robberies were up 33% in the Lakeview-based Town Hall (19th) district, which covers the area between the lake and the river from Fullerton to Lawrence. North of there, in the Lincoln (20th) district, robberies were up 58%. Then, on the Far North Side, between the lake and the river from Peterson to the city limits, robberies were up 65% in the Rogers Park (24th) district.

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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