Armed thieves carry out 3 robberies within 15 minutes in Lincoln Park, Chicago police say

Chicago police launch new plan to use technology to prevent robberies, carjackings

ByJessica D'Onofrio, Craig Wall, and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Friday, April 12, 2024
3 people robbed at gunpoint within 15 minutes on North Side: CPD
Chicago police are investigating three Lincoln Park robberies as the department launches a new plan to prevent such crimes.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Robberies, particularly armed robberies, have jumped during the past year.

In Lincoln Park on Friday morning, three separate armed robberies put people on-edge and police on high alert. There was also a smash-and-grab burglary at a Lululemon nearby around the same time.

The first robbery took place at about 4:45 a.m. in the 1300-block of North Halsted Street.

A 29-year-old man told police he was getting out of his vehicle when a black sedan, possible a Nissan Maxima, approached. Four to five male suspects got out, showed guns and took the victim's property, police said. The suspects then got back in their sedan and fled northbound.

The second robbery occurred at about 4:59 a.m. in the 1800-block of North Halsted Street.

A 26-year-old man told police he was outside when a black sedan approached and three male suspects armed with guns got out and robbed him. The suspects got back in the black sedan and fled southbound.

The third robbery occurred in the 1600-block of North Sheffield Avenue at about 5 a.m.

A victim told police he was walking outside when a black sedan approached and three armed male suspects in masks and hoodies got out and robbed him after a physical altercation. The suspects got back in their sedan and fled the scene, police said.

No one is in custody for the robberies, and no injuries were reported.

Police are now planning a new counter offensive.

Mayor Brandon Johnson and Chicago Police Supt. Larry Snelling spoke about preventing robberies at a press conference on Friday.

Chicago Police Department Supt. Larry Snelling says enough is enough.

"We want to be proactive and not just reactive when these crimes occur," Snelling said.

Police will be working with the business community and ramping up the use of technology to counter criminal activity.

"We are utilizing technology like license plate readers and pod cameras to locate and apprehend those responsible for robberies and motor vehicle thefts," said Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Antoinette Ursitti.

The new technology includes using license plate readers, police pod cams, and the department's helicopter to apprehend lawbreakers.

There will be a focus on stolen vehicles, which are often used in the crimes. Police also using their chopper more to catch carjackers.

"If we can get a handle on the stolen vehicles, we can get a handle on how these crimes are being committed. Now we're also looking at areas, locations and times when these robberies are occurring," Snelling said.

Over the last 12 months, there have been more than 11,000 robberies in Chicago. That's up more than 18% compared to the average for the last three years. Armed robberies are up more than 34%.

"Everyone in every neighborhood deserves to feel safe walking down the street, commuting to work, and enjoying life in our wonderful city," said Mayor Brandon Johnson.

While the mayor has stressed combatting crime requires investing in neighborhoods to get at the root causes, police acknowledged that will take time.

"Please go down there to enjoy yourself, but do not do not destroy property. Do not engage in acts of violence, and you will not have to worry about Chicago Police Department. But if you do, we will take action," Snelling said.

And after several nice weekends last summer, when large groups of unruly young people took over downtown streets, terrorizing people and destroying property, police say they are monitoring social channels and will work to proactively prevent a repeat this weekend.

"For those who decide they want to go into downtown, wreak havoc, attack people, fight, take guns into these locations, destroy property, we're going to arrest you," Snelling said. "Our message is clear: If you commit these crimes, there will be consequences."

Police are also asking parents to make sure they know where their kids say that they are going and to ensure that they actually go there rather than somewhere where they could get in trouble or be in danger.

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