Daywatch: Crew tactics in robbery waves challenge Chicago police and feds

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Good morning, Chicago.

The call that came over the police radio last Monday morning was startling if familiar by now: Two men in a stolen car committing robberies at gunpoint across Chicago’s South Side.

Within a span of minutes, the robbers held up employees at two discount stores and stole wallets and other belongings from pedestrians on the street. All of the victims described having guns pointed in their faces, according to police and court records. One was knocked to the ground.

This time, police quickly caught a 25-year-old suspect after an alert witness saw two men matching the robbers’ description running from a stolen Kia with bags in their hands on South Carpenter Street, according to court records.

But it’s a drop in the bucket.

In the days before and after those robberies, waves of other stickups were happening around the city, including a driver accosted by rifle-toting teens as he was unloading his car in Bucktown, a woman carjacked at gunpoint in Rogers Park, students walking near DePaul University’s Lincoln Park campus and a bar worker mugged after leaving work in the West Loop.

While armed robberies are nothing new in Chicago, a disturbing new pattern has emerged in recent months where crews of robbers — many of them juveniles — toting high-powered weapons go on crime sprees, robbing or carjacking multiple victims in a matter of minutes, often using stolen cars and dressed head to toe in black.

Read the full story from the Tribune’s Jason Meisner, Sam Charles and Jake Sheridan.

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