CHICAGO — At least 9 people were robbed within an hour Monday morning on Chicago's Northwest Side.
The robberies, plus at least one carjacking and an attempted carjacking, happened between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. in a 1-square-mile area in the Albany Park neighborhood, police said.
Officers believe the same group of two to four young men in their late teens or early 20s are responsible for all of the attacks. The offenders were wearing dark hooded sweatshirts.
In one case, the group attempted to carjack a limo driver in the 3400 block of West Montrose Avenue. The driver was getting ready to go to work about 5:15 a.m. A group of men jumped into the limo and tried to take off, authorities said, but the limo driver pulled out the attackers and fought back. Police said the robbers threatened to come back and kill the man.
The limo driver sustained an ankle injury but refused medical treatment.
Police said most of the robberies were successful. The thieves would pull up in a black 2005 Nissan sedan and hold people up right on the street, demanding their personal property. The license plate number of the vehicle is Q817490.
Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said officers on patrol are using devices that automatically read license plates. Cars equipped with these devices can scan hundreds of license plates in a minute's time.
In another incident, in the 3500 block of West Argyle Street, police said a male victim managed to wrestle a gun away from one of the robbers and take it into a police station.
Supt. Johnson said police have video of some of the incidents, but they're not releasing it at this time because they don't want to compromise the investigation. He asked anyone with information to report it at cpdtip.org.
Johnson also urged everyone to pay attention to their surroundings because these types of crimes are often crimes of opportunity.