Gunmen rob 7 businesses, engage store owner in shootout during 4-hour crime spree

CHICAGO — Armed men robbed at least seven businesses, mugged store customers, and exchanged gunfire with a store owner during a four-hour crime spree across the north and northwest sides on Thursday night, according to Chicago police. The most frequent targets were liquor stores, but they also targeted at least two Subway sandwich shops and a convenience store.

The crimes began just after 8 p.m. at Leland Liquors, 4662 North Western, in Lincoln Square. Two men, armed with guns, pistol-whipped the store’s owner, taking cash from the register and a victim’s car keys.

According to an officer who responded to the scene, the robbers were two black men wearing all black clothing: one in his 20s, standing about 5’6″ tall and weighing 140 to 160 pounds; the other 6-feet tall or slightly taller, 180 pounds, with dreadlocks and freckles. They both wore masks and gloves. Victims of subsequent robberies provided similar suspect descriptions.

A similar robbery occurred at 9:38 p.m. at Winnemac Food & Liquor, 5029 North Western, also in Lincoln Square. Two men armed with guns forced a man and his girlfriend to lie on the floor. They took the couple’s wallets and robbed the store’s cashier.

About eight minutes later, two men armed with guns robbed A&P Food and Liquor, 1968 West Peterson, in West Rogers Park. They robbed four customers and took two cash drawers, according to Chicago police.

Two men robbed the 7-Eleven at 4771 North Elston in Mayfair around 10:46 p.m. They fled in a dark-colored sedan, CPD said.

The situation became especially dangerous shortly after 11 p.m. when three men wearing all black clothing entered Basil Food and Liquor, 7446 North Western, in West Rogers Park. Police said one of the robbers fired a shot at the store’s clerk, and the worker returned fire. No injuries were reported. The police said the robbers escaped in a silver SUV this time.

Then, in a bold move, two men robbed the Subway at 1958 West Peterson, just a couple of doors down from A&P Food and Liquor. They took cash from the register at gunpoint and fled in a dark-colored sedan. Investigators believe the getaway car was a dark blue 2013 Hyundai Sonata stolen last night from the 2600 block of West Balmoral, according to a source.

Finally, just before midnight, two men robbed the Subway at 5232 North Nagle in Norwood Park. They took cash from the register and fled in a dark-colored sedan.

Police have been looking for at least three armed robbery crews that have targeted Subway restaurants, convenience stores, bars, and liquor stores. Shots were fired during some of the crimes, but no one has been struck by gunfire so far.

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