Assistant Special Agent in charge of violent crimes Dennaris Coleman, who has been with the FBI for nearly 20 years, says armored truck robberies are on the rise.

“It’s a crime of opportunity,” he said. “(It can happen) really fast. So if there is a large amount of money taken it is a quick payoff for a short amount of time.”

The FBI is offering a $15,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in a case out of Cicero last summer. Just before 6 a.m. on August 12, surveillance video showed an armored vehicle park in the 5800 block of West Roosevelt in front of Lanie’s Cafe, a gaming lounge with slots and video poker. The guards arrived to load machines with cash and collect receipts.

“As they pulled up, one guard got out and approached the establishment. He was accosted by one of two males who forced him to the ground,” Coleman said. “They also ordered the other male to give them an unknown amount of money.” 

Both offenders were armed, but didn’t fire their weapons. They took off down an alley in a black 2012 Nissan Morano.

“Obviously they knew their pattern,” Coleman said. “Whether they followed them or staged there, they knew the pattern, knew they would be there, knew they would be there around that time in the morning. So it was pre-planned.”

Demoyne Blakemore lives in the neighborhood and says he’s typically worried about shootings and keeping his grandkids safe.  

“It takes a lot of guts to do that. I’m surprised they pulled it off. I really am surprised,” he said.

He’s surprised to hear about this type of crime, but it’s happening a lot more in the Chicago area than you might think.

In April, there were three back-to-back armored truck robberies in Chicago, Lansing and Calumet City. In May, the FBI announced charges against two men who stole more than a million dollars from a brinks truck parked at a Jewel grocery store on South 183rd Street.

Devonte Davis and Darrell Singleton were caught after Brinks stashed an apple air tag inside a bag of currency stolen and police tracked them to a home in Calumet Park.

In March, four armed suspects robbed an armored truck in front of an Xfinity store in Orland Park.

In February, a Loomis armored truck guard was shot during an attempted robbery outside a Wendy’s restaurant in West Chatham.

Trucks were hit in December, November and October in Oak Park, Edgewater and Dolton.

So far this year, the FBI reports armored truck robberies have tripled in the city of Chicago, compared to all of 2022.

The criminals can be both low level rookies, or more seasoned criminals tied into large criminal networks hoping for a big payoff to help fund gun and drug trafficking.

The FBI is doing outreach with banks and armored car companies on best practices and crime trends.

If you have any information on this latest case in Cicero, dial 1-800-CALL-FBI.