Armed crew robs people, businesses, carjacks driver during 4-hour spree

CHICAGO — At least nine armed robberies and carjackings were reported across the north and northwest sides late Tuesday and early today, according to preliminary Chicago police reports. The incidents, which involved street robberies, business robberies, and hijackings, appear to be linked to the same group of criminals—a group that CPD warned the public about on Monday.

It all started a little after 9 p.m. when three men robbed a woman at gunpoint in the 4200 block of North Marmora in Portage Park. Moments later, three armed men carjacked and robbed a victim in the 4200 block of North Mason, leaving a stolen Nissan Sentra behind. Another robbery followed around 9:25 p.m. in the 5400 block of West School.

A short time later, robberies started occurring at businesses, primarily convenience stores. Each time, two gunmen entered the store while a third stood watch at the door. That technique is identical to one used by a three-man robbery crew seen in a video released by Chicago police on Monday.

In a community alert issued Monday, police said the crew robbed people on the streets, at ATMs, and in vehicles on the Northwest Side. However, police say the group in the video is not responsible for last night’s crimes.

Last night’s business robberies began around 10 p.m. at 7-Eleven, 2820 West Armitage. That was followed by a 7-Eleven robbery at 2010 North Damen at 10:22 p.m.

Around 10:37 p.m., a similar robbery occurred at Subway, 3021 North Clark, in Lakeview. The Convenient Food Mart at 5530 North Milwaukee was robbed about 30 minutes later, again by three men, one of whom acted as a lookout. They pistol-whipped the store employee on Milwaukee, but he was not seriously injured.

Following that, the group apparently returned to street robberies, targeting victims near Francisco and Pratt and California and Pratt early Wednesday.

Officers were advised that the car hijacked at the start of the crime spree hit on license plate readers near the subsequent robberies, suggesting links between all of the holdups.

As of Monday, the number of robbery reports filed citywide is flat compared to the same time last year. However, the police districts where last night’s crimes occurred are experiencing significant increases, according to CPD’s latest statistics.

Robberies on the far Northwest Side, in CPD’s Jefferson Park (16th) District, are up 36% this year and 26% compared to 2020. The Albany Park (17th) District is up 38% this year and 15% compared to 2020.

The Lakeview-based Town Hall (19th) District is up 45% this year and 95% compared to 2020. And the Shakespeare (14th) District, which includes Bucktown, Wicker Park, and much of Logan Square, is seeing an 11% increase on top of last year’s long-time high. Shakespeare’s robberies are up 162% compared to 2020.

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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