Despite several arrests, armed robbery crews have returned to Chicago’s hard-hit Near West Side
Chicago — Two men salting a West Town sidewalk and an 80-year-old man are among at least nine people who were robbed at gunpoint during two holdup sprees Wednesday night and Thursday morning, mainly in West Town, Bucktown, and Logan Square. There were seven robberies reported in the same areas on Sunday morning.
The holdups are occurring in areas that have been hard-hit by waves of similar robbery surges over the past month. While the pace of the robberies has slowed since Chicago police made several arrests, it’s clear that some members of the robbery crew are still at work.
In the latest robberies, a group of armed men used a dark gray Kia Sportage bearing a temporary license plate as a getaway car, CPD reports reviewed by CWBChicago said. In each crime, up to four masked men emerged from the Kia, displayed multiple firearms, and robbed victims who were outdoors.
The first holdup happened just before 9 p.m. on Wednesday in the 900 block of North Trumbull in Humboldt Park.
Then, two men spreading salt in the 2400 block of West Hubbard were robbed by four gunmen who exited an SUV, police said. The crew pistol-whipped one victim, a 37-year-old man, and took property from him and his 40-year-old coworker, according to CPD.
Additional robberies occurred in the 300 block of North Oakley around 10:10 p.m.; the 3500 block of West McLean around 10:45 p.m.; and the 3000 block of West Logan around 11 p.m., according to CPD records.
A witness also called 911 to report seeing two masked men robbing a man at a bank in the 3300 block of West North Avenue around 10:18 p.m., but police said they did not find a victim at the scene, according to police dispatch logs.
Another man was robbed in the 2300 block of West Wabansia around 12:15 a.m. Thursday, a police report said.
Later, shortly after 5 a.m., three men robbed another victim of his wallet and cash at the intersection of Belmont and Kimball in Logan Square. A CPD surveillance camera recorded the holdup, an officer said.
An 80-year-old man was robbed at gunpoint by three offenders who confronted him as he withdrew money from an ATM in the 1900 block of West 21st Street around 5:31 a.m. According to a CPD spokesperson, one of the robbers held a gun to the man’s head and took the money he had just withdrawn.
Around 6:20 a.m., a woman called 911 after witnessing three men exiting a gray vehicle to rob a man in the 1600 block of North Avenue. However, when the police arrived at the scene, they found no victim.
The victims consistently described the robbers as groups of slim Black males in their late teens or early 20s. On Wednesday, one of them wore a white hoodie, according to two victims.
Several robberies were reported in the same neighborhoods during a spree on Sunday morning. Each time, two or three men exited a gray Kia or Hyundai to rob victims. Some victims said the robbers’ car had bullet holes in the side and a yellow tarp or bag covering a rear passenger window.
Holdups were reported at 19th and Wood around 5:30 a.m.; in the 1500 block of West 17th around 6 a.m.; in the 1700 block of North Drake at 6:15 a.m.; outside the Logan Square Blue Line station at 6:40 a.m.; in the 3100 block of North Christiana about 6:50 a.m.; and in the 3000 block of West Belmont around 7 a.m.
For about a month, armed crews have unleashed nearly 100 robberies during increasingly frequent crime sprees, with Chicago’s near west, northwest, and north sides being especially hard-hit.
Last Monday, Chicago police arrested a four-man crew that officials said was responsible for some of the robberies. They’re all being held without bail.
A concealed carry holder shot three members of a four-person robbery team that allegedly tried to rob him on December 5. Charges have been filed against three members of that group, and the fourth remains hospitalized after receiving a gunshot wound to his head.
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