Friday, December 25, 2015

HO-HO-HOLD UPS GALORE: 4 Robbed, 1 Pistol-Whipped During Christmas Eve Armed Robbery Spree In Lakeview

An armed robbery crew struck our neighborhood hard on Christmas Eve, robbing three people at gunpoint and pistol-whipping a fourth victim in under 90 minutes. No one is in custody.

The same crew is believed responsible for eight armed robberies on the North Side on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to a police source.

In the robbery pattern, three or four black men in their late teens or early 20’s approach victims and threaten or strike their targets with a black semi-automatic handgun, police have said. The offenders are described as being small in stature—perhaps 5’7” tall—and are generally said to be wearing black puffy coats and beanie hats.

(Above) A black 2011 Hyundai Tucson
Police are on the lookout for two stolen vehicles that the crew is known to have used:
• A black 2011 Hyundai Tucson with Illinois plate FCZENIT, which the crew carjacked Wednesday morning in the 5400 block of N. Kedzie. This vehicle was used in all of the robberies in our neighborhood on Christmas Eve, witnesses said.
(Above) A black 2014 BMW SUV
• A black 2014 BMW SUV with Illinois plate 1692225. The car was stolen from a home in nearby Lincoln Park on December 19 after the owner left his keys inside. Witnesses say the BMW is noisy and not in good condition. It was used in several robberies on the North Side late Tuesday and early Wednesday. 
There are indications that the crew is trying to steal a new vehicle, a source said.

Victims Targeted

The first robbery in our area last night came at 9:23PM when a man was robbed at gunpoint near the Illinois Masonic Medical Center emergency entrance at 836 W. Wellington. Three offenders jumped out of the Tucson, produced a handgun, and took the man’s wallet and iPhone. They were last seen heading northbound in the west alley of Halsted Street from Wellington.

Around 10:15PM, a couple was approached by the same three offenders at Berteau and Greenview, near Graceland Cemetery. An offender struck the male victim in the face with a handgun and the crew fled without taking any property, police said.

Then, at 10:33PM, a man reported that three offenders jumped out of the FCZENIT car and took $80 and his cell phone at gunpoint near Newport and Seminary. The victim reported that a fourth man remained in the vehicle while the robbery unfolded.

Finally, at 10:45PM, a man reported that he was robbed by similarly-described offenders near Belmont and Wilton, just outside the Belmont CTA station, 945 W. Belmont.

There are indications that the crew tried to steal a vehicle near Racine and School between the third and fourth hold-ups, according to a report.

Earlier on Christmas Eve, a Lincoln Park man reported that two men got of an SUV around 1:30AM and robbed him at gunpoint near Wrightwood and Clark Street. Police did not immediately connect the hold-up to the larger robbery pattern.

Earlier Cases

Chicago police issued a sparingly-detailed alert about the crew three hours before yesterday’s spree broke out in our neighborhood.

In the alert, which may be seen on DNAInfo Chicago, detectives listed eight hold-ups in areas farther north and west, but gave no vehicle descriptions.

But the crew apparently pulled off more robberies than the alert lists.

CWB Chicago has learned that the offenders were seen attempting to rob a man outside a coffee shop near the Damen Brown Line station around 6:50AM on Wednesday. A witness reported the incident to police, but the victim did not stick around to file a report.

Also not listed is another incident in the 4900 block of N. Hoyne. In that case, the victim said two young black men in a black BMW SUV pulled up and asked for directions before they produced a handgun and took his wallet around 7:10AM on Wednesday.

Ten minutes later, the black Hyundai that the offenders used in our area was carjacked in the 5400 block of N. Kedzie, according to a source. As of midnight today, the BMW was still listed as stolen in Chicago police records.

And One To Grow On

In addition to all of that, the Boystown 7-Eleven store, located at 3407 N. Halsted Street, was robbed at knifepoint around 8:45PM on Christmas Eve. The offender produced a 6-inch knife and stole a box of cigarette lighters, according to a witness.

The offender, a black man in his mid-40’s wearing a baseball hat and dark clothing, fled northbound on Halsted.

Image: Santa from Drye's Gun Shop
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  1. Why are you carrying your handgun on Xmas Eve my family asked. Wonder why?

    1. I hope this crew runs into you

    2. I know she attacks on Wellington are getting more prevalent, Belmont becoming too obvious for them?

    3. ALL law abiding citizens should obtain their concealed weapons permits and carry firearms with them at all times. -a 019th district police officer.

  2. 12% of the population are responsible for 60% of the violent crime in the US.............

  3. I wonder if the mathematician who was kind enough to research the percentage of population responsible for a certain percentage of violent crime would be kind enough to explain their post beyond a really long ellipse. Because it really makes no sense at all.

  4. It's been months since I commented on this site but I'll hone in now since this latest piece is beyond my wildest imagination. First off, why the anonymous on this site? WTF are you people afraid of? Second of all, I left Chicago after 30 years of living in, at one time, the greatest city in the world but now, truly the most dangerous. Simply put, if I did stay, I would arm myself and protect myself and defend my neighborhood from the shit that's now permeating and eating away at the very fabric that made living in Chicago great! Please stop with police protection because it will never, ever protect you from what is crawling around you. So sad and pathetic when I read about neighborhoods I used to walk in at any time of the day and night that are frightening to behold!

    1. Sorry pal, but you are wrong. Good policing can work wonders. It's not 'everything', but it's hugely beneficial.
      New York City was a mess in the 70s and 80s. But things got turned around in the mid 90s. When I lived there starting in '08, you could walk across Central Park late at night (as I did many times) without a problem. The vast majority of Manhattan, including Times Square, was very safe.
      It was effective policing that made the difference. Even in Harlem. Maybe especially there. Good police made a HUGE impact.
      So don't kid yourself.
      Conceal / carry isn't the only way.

    2. I agree! NYC with 3x Chicago's population (and even ore diversity) feels much safer than Chicago.

    3. True wrt NYC but with one major difference...Giuliani did not purge the roster of policemen upon taking office like Rahm did (his way to address the budget crisis). We have good police officers, just not enough of them. The scary part is that its difficult to foresee this financially stricken city ever regaining the economic footing necessary to properly staff the CPD. We all hope this is a temporary solvable problem. If it was understood and accepted that this is the way things are going to be, there'd be a mass exodus out of the city.

    4. The problem we are seeing is a result of multiple failures and policing is only small fraction of the problem. You have the police, prosecutors, judges, parole board, prison system, sheriff, and county board members involved.

      Recall the number of times you have read in CWB about violent offenders, like our friend Jennifer from the previous story, were charged with misdemeanors when felonies charges should have been filed. (And before anyone says anything, yes they are now felony charges but only because the community spoke up this time.)

      Recall how many times you read that a judge gave little or no times to scum bag criminals preying on our neighbors.

      Recall how many times you have read on CWB about multiple felony criminals who were released early committing violent crimes again. Released early either because of over-crowding or parole boards who have no problem releasing repeat violent offenders early.

      Recall how you read in CWB about a parolee who was found guilty of smashing a woman's head into the pavement of her garage had his parole revoked but no additional time added beyond his prior sentence.

      I'm not going to even get into the politicizing of the judicial and penal systems by the county board and sheriff.

      I know that if we as a society kept violent offenders in jail for extended and meaningful periods of time the number of people pron to this sort of behavior on our streets would decreased. I know that if repeat offenders were put back in for even longer periods things would get better. I know that if we had a mayor who, like Giuliani, would not fight for the rights of criminals but instead the rights of the victims, things would change.

      However, none of that will ever happen because we as a community, city and county are doomed to keep getting the same group of prosecutors, judges, board members and administrators because we continue to, when we can even be bothered to, vote for the same people that have gotten to us to this point.

      BTW, I'm not a cop. I'm just a citizen who has lived in the city for over 50 years and laments that I have to carry a gun now when I walk my dog at night.

      Thanks CWB for being such a valuable resource.

    5. I'm afraid there WILL be a mass exodus out of the city. I'm an owner here, in a "high income" area, and as a single woman, I'm getting scared of all the violent crime.
      There are so many creeps lurking around in the once "good neighborhoods." I don't even know what to say. : (

      I won't be able to afford to live here once the taxes go up.....and I know I won't be able to afford to live in the burbs either. I guess I'll have to move to my home state of Indiana. My family will be thrilled about that, but I won't be.

      I love Chicago.....but I cannot afford the taxes or the crime. : ((((((

  5. Hey! Three stooges!
    .....In case you're wondering, that's YOU, Tommy Tee, Mr Social Work, and Michelle Do Nothing...
    In the new year, WHEN will any of you sit here at CWB to discuss the most important issue facing everyone in our neighborhood?
    Where's your plan?
    What are your ideas?
    What are your concerns?

    1. They have no plan, honey. They were all voted back in by a landslide for a part time, $100,000K plus job, that all they ever do is rubber stamp the mayer's wants and wishes. That's been going on for DECADES under Dayley.

      I would like to see a mayoral candidate come about who says he/she will cut our WORTHLESS city council by 50%. And to fix all the pension holes (that they never planned to pay in the first place) & would use all the excessive TIF funds to plug those holes instead of making the few, remaining tax payers BEND OVER....Instead of using our tax dollars for a new stadium for DePaul, which is a PRIVATE COLLAGE!

      Why isn't anyone griping about that???

  6. I bet Prince Rahm has armed protection around him while he enjoys himself in Cuba during the holidays. I wonder if his son's college counselor went along?

    So thankful I moved out of Lakeview a couple of years ago. The majority of the hot spots for the thugs attacking are places I used to never think twice about walking day or night. I'm now too scared to even visit Lakeview during the day.

  7. If I recall correctly, that's the same 7-Eleven that refused to testify against a previous robber or attacker. They deserve to continue to be robbed until they wake up.

    1. Oh, they've failed to show up several times.

    2. The manager (or a manager) in that store was LAUGHING ABOUT THE FUCKING SITUATION the other day. Just ... boggles the mind.

  8. I was the first person robbed in this sequence. I work at Illinois Masonic. Upon returning to the hospital i informed my coworkers of what had happened and they called 911 for me. I logged into my icloud account and began tracking these people using the 'find my iphone' app

    One of my coworkers saw that they were at belmont and racine and realized that there was a gas station there. One of the nurses googled the gas station and called them, gave them a description of the vehicle, and the gas station attendant confirmed that they were there and gave us the license plate number

    we called 911 and informed the police that these individuals were there, and gave them a description of the vehicle as well as the license plate number.

    when i found out today that these guys carried out THREE ADDITIONAL armed robberies all within blocks of each other i was furious. The police department showed completly inept or indifferent to protecting the citizens of this neighborhood.

    1. It would be good if the commander would look into this to see if the problem was 911 lack of attention and or communication or a shortage of police in the field because of understaffing and Christmas leave taking. Whatever the reason, an explanation to the community is warranted. The same from the various alderpersons representing the areas the attacks took place.

    2. It's not that the officers on duty weren't trying. It's that there weren't enough officers to launch an aggressive response. At one point, a single unit was assigned to handle two separate robberies. These men and women can only do so much.

    3. It's good to see a citizen fight back by aggressively tracking the robbers. It is too bad CPD didn't have the ability to adequately respond. For whatever reason.

    4. CWB and/or the robbery victim: You mentioned the tepid response. I'm sorry to hear that. CWB, how do you ascertain that detail? Is it by listening to the scanner to decipher who is assigned to which call? Reason I ask is that I dialed up archives and there doesn't seem to be much action going on... So my gut would be that there would be enough resources (seargants, tactical officers, etc) to bolster a single beat cop's response. Basically I'd love for you to elaborate on how you can gauge response. And also... How long did it take to respond to the poor hospital worker's case? (And this at a hospital that usually has 1-2 cop cars in front of it!)

    5. There doesn't need to be a lot of action to deplete poor staffing.

    6. I can tell you that the response was more than adequate to the robberies. However, every unit that's looking for the bad guys won't be announcing it over the radio. It's better to "keep the air clear" rather than tie up the radio in case someone has to broadcast something quickly, like locating the offender(s).

      And I could be wrong, but I don't specifically remember a dispatcher saying the vehicle was at the gas station at Belmont/Racine. The dispatcher did give a description of the vehicle, including the license plate though. Good citizens, just know that there is a delay from when the calltaker receives the call to the call being dispatched. Sometimes that's just enough time for the bad guys to get away.

    7. Can you tell us that? Perhaps you can also tell us why one of the victims had to wait 45 minutes for officers to arrive if everything was "more than adequate." Particularly since there was already an investigative alert out for the vehicle and its distinctive plate.

      The problems were (1) understaffing and (2) the fact that these crimes fell during a shift change.

    8. I'm a cop and I recovered three iPhones before the idiots began turning the tracker off. In this case they, according to this fine nurse, did keep it on. CWB blocked my explanation before but officers do not hear your calls! Dispatchers do. I ask when the calls come out because I'm not flying to a shots fired call that happened 5min ago. I'll tour the area looking for the person/vehicle matching the description. If you were a "robbery just occurred" not an "armed robbery in progress," that means you could have relocated, the offenders long gone, etc. dispatch may wait a while before sending it out. We fly to those calls and get in an accident with another nurse, who also now hates us, for an incident that happened five minutes ago.

      Now, if it's that easy, you go do it. We don't have access to your live GPS display of your phone. Sorry, we don't have a crystal ball in our inventory. Can you refer me to a tactical store so I can purchase one?

    9. "CWB blocked my explanation before"

      Easy there, Paco. Your "explanation" has been here for all to see for the past 2 days. Your observations skills are so poor, we doubt that you'd last long as a real cop.

    10. Man, there's no reason to be so hostile. Do you really want to alienate the victim from Masonic, who never identified him/herself as a nurse by the way, or the citizens that regularly visit this blog that are generally supportive of the work POs do? Instead, you could just explain that in the rush to get info out over the air when you have multiple robberies occurring one after the other that sometimes the dispatchers don't read out all the details that responding units would find most useful. Since you work in 019, you probably have some time on the job and realize that radio communications aren't perfect, but the dispatchers normally do a solid job.

      Although it's easy to forget when the police are getting blasted in the media, you have to remember that the majority of residents within 019 do appreciate the thankless work the police do every single day. In how many other districts do citizens and business owners offer nice spreads of food a number of times throughout the year to show support for the police? And since I'm sure you would be pissed if one of your family members or friends was robbed at gunpoint and would be understanding if they were traumatized by everything surrounding it, try not to be so darn hard on the victim for being frustrated.

    11. All of what you said, as well as what Anonymous said him/herself lead us to believe that the poster is not really a police officer, just a faker in Internet comments... And maybe even in real life.

  9. Looks like it's spreading deeper into Pawar's ward. Curious to see his next move/nerwsletter. Berteau and Greenview is just a few blocks from His Dishonorable-self and 5% of the force. If we could just leave a trail of iphones, leading there and maybe entice the naughty kids over to Hermitage while he's in Cuba, it would give CPD something to while away the hours instead of just watching an empty home. Problem solved. Thanks CWB for being on this.

    1. Again, the math? 5% of the force at Rahm's home? No. In Pawar's ward? Is that possible?

    2. "Again, the math? 5% of the force at Rahm's home? No."

      Perhaps you are the one who's having math challenges. In actuality, more than 5% of the 19th district's manpower is assigned to the mayor's house at any given time. Here's the math:

      333 officers assigned to the district.
      For ease,let's say those officers never have days off and they're split across three shifts.

      In this artificial scenario, there would be 111 officers on duty at any given time in the district.

      The detail assigned to the mayor's house (not to the mayor, but to his personal property/real estate) includes 2 officers in front; 2 officers in back; 2 officers in a roaming car; and a sergeant. That's seven 19th district officers assigned to Rahm's house 24/7/365.

      Divide 7 officers by the theoretical 111 on duty and you'll soon learn that 6.3% of the district's manpower is assigned to Rahm's house. And THAT is if no officers ever have days off. In fact, they are off more than 30% of the time, so you can adjust the Rahm % upward accordingly.


  10. While the anecdotal evidence is troubling I'm unsure that these types of incidents are any more common than 10 years ago. As far as Chicago generally being dangerous, it's statistically much safer than nearby cities such as Milwaukee, St. Louis and Memphis amoung others.

    1. "While the anecdotal evidence is troubling I'm unsure that these types of incidents are any more common than 10 years ago. "

      Well, consider reading this blog more often and educate yourself about how the years compare. It's easy to find.

      "As far as Chicago generally being dangerous, it's statistically much safer than nearby cities such as Milwaukee, St. Louis and Memphis amoung others."

      That's like being a fat guy sitting next to an OUTRAGEOUSLY fat guy. Suddenly, you feel thin and attractive. But only because of whom you've decided to compare yourself to.

    2. Good response to Anderson's stupid comment, CWB.

    3. Correct. I always go to the bars with an ugly friend. Works every time.

    4. The analogy of the fat guys is simply priceless and hilarious

  11. Well, Tunney promised us more cops with the 1/2 billion tax increase in which he provided his puppet vote. Surely he wouldn't lie to us yet again? lol The clowns people vote for in this city, humada humada.

  12. Interesting post about NY policing. NY HAS 3X Chicago's population but chi. Town recovers 10X The amount of guns.
    NY can't use stop and frisk anymore and the crime is going up.

  13. These people are terrorists. They're making a point to attack neighborhoods with a rep for being safe (Lakeview, Ravenswood). Their goal isn't just to take shit, but to scare the locals out of hate.

  14. Solid assessment. I'd just add that to criminals, it's a fun adrenalin rush. Also, they must feel a certain level of invulnerability due to the current climate of presenting offenders as victims. Sick world we live in.

  15. I no longer feel safe in the city. At least you used to be able to call the police and be under the illusion they would help. The comment of the criminals feeling a level of invulnerability seems to be true. And when did getting beat up and robbed turn into simple assault? Seems to be happening quite a bit. I am not capable of looking at criminals and saying its just kids having a night on the town. I'm also not strong enough to survive an attack. Waiting for the "whose lives matter more" jerks to use this defense more and more.