Gunmen rob bicyclist in Norwood Park, jogger in Gladstone Park, as early morning robberies continue on NW Side
by BRIAN NADIG
For the second weekend in a row, several Sunday morning armed robberies were reported on the Northwest Side, with incidents on Aug. 20 in Norwood Park, Gladstone Park and Portage Park.
The incidents typically involve armed assailants exiting a stolen vehicle and robbing victims while they are walking or riding a bicycle.
On Aug. 13 eight early morning robberies were reported on the Northwest and North sides, including incidents in Jefferson Park, Albany Park, Forest Glen and Portage Park. Eight additional robberies were reported in the afternoon, including several in the Albany Park area.
On Aug. 20 in the 16th (Jefferson Park) District, officers reported seeing a man lying on the ground next to a bicycle at about 5:20 a.m. in the 6300 block of Northwest Highway, according to Chicago police. The man told the officers that he had just been robbed, police said.
The officers then observed a dark-colored sedan driving in circles near Northwest Highway and Harlem Avenue that eventually turned onto southbound Harlem, while traveling at a high a rate of speed and ignoring traffic signals, police said. Not knowing if the man was injured, the officers stayed with him and sent a flash message about the vehicle, which was believed to have contained the assailants, police said.
The man told the officers that while he was riding his bicycle a vehicle came up alongside and struck him, causing him to fall to the ground, police said.
Two men, who were described as Black and displaying black handguns, reportedly exited the vehicle and demanded his belongings, police said. A backpack that contained his wallet and cell phone were reported stolen.
The vehicle was described as a sport utility with possibly an Indiana license plate.
Meanwhile, a male jogger reported that a masked gunman exited a small black or blue SUV at about 5:10 a.m. in the 5600 block of West Bryn Mawr Avenue and ordered him to the ground, police said.
The assailant took items from one of the man’s pockets, police said. A credit card and an insurance card were among the items reported stolen.
In the 17th (Albany Park) District, a robbery was reported near Irving Park Road and Kilpatrick Avenue, but additional details were not available.
There also were several early morning robberies reported on Tuesday, July 11, including incidents in the 4900 and 5300 blocks of North Elston Avenue.
The number of reported robberies through Aug. 20 this year in the 17th District is 126, up from 89 during the same period in 2022, a 42-percent increase. The number of robberies in the 16th District is 89, up from 73, a 22-percent increase.
Northwest Side police districts have been communicating and sharing information during some of the recent crime sprees, using the technology in their strategic decision support centers, which include access to Police Observation Device cameras, according to 16th District commander Heather Daniel.
A 16-year-old who was arrested following a car chase and two recent suspects in the 25th (Grand Central) District reportedly are being investigated for possible involvement with some of the area robberies.
In other news, an armed robbery was reported to have occurred at about 2:25 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18, at the Kazzaz Smoke Shop, 6335 W. Montrose Ave., police said.
Gunmen entered the store and stole about $500 in cash, police said.
One of the assailants was described as Black, age 17 to 21, 5-11 to 6-1, weighing 150 to 165 pounds and wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and a black baseball cap with a white Adidas logo. The other assailant was described as 5-7 to 5-10, weighing 160 to 180 pounds and wearing dark blue and grey clothing