CHICAGO (SUN TIMES MEDIA WIRE) - A trio of brazen thieves, who struck three times in less than an hour in broad daylight last week in northwest Indiana, may have struck again in a series of morning attacks in Chicago, the last one leaving an elderly man wounded on the Southwest Side.
On Friday, police released surveillance photos and video of the armed robbers, and the car they used in the robberies of an 85-year-old man, a 67-year-old man and a woman walking with her 11-year-old daughter, all in less than an hour in broad daylight in Hammond, Indiana.
Now it appears they have are striking on both side of state line.
Hammond detectives “are working directly with Chicago Police in connection with the early morning robberies that took place in Chicago,” Hammond Police Lt. Steven Kellogg said.
Chicago Police also sent out a community alert on Thursday, warning of a series of at least nine other robberies in Brighton Park, Back of the Yards and Gage Park neighborhoods that follow the same pattern.
He said the robbers work extremely quickly, strike early in the morning, and only go after the most vulnerable targets.
In the latest incident, about 6:30 a.m. Thursday, “two black males robbed and shot a man in Chicago. We are following up with Chicago Police to see if these are the same two individuals who came to Hammond and conducted early morning robberies in our city last week,” Kellogg said.
The 73-year-old victim was shot during the attempted robbery in the West Lawn neighborhood, according to Chicago Police.
He was walking on the sidewalk in the 6100 block of South Kenneth when a male suspect exited a black SUV and told him to hand over his belongings.
The man refused to comply and the suspect fired shots, striking him in the abdomen, police said. The shooter then got back in the SUV, which sped away.
The man was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where his condition was stabilized, police said.
On Friday, there were robberies in the 4400 block of South Talman, 3800 block of South Albany, 2600 block of West 38th Street, and 1600 block of West 46th Street, all between 4:30 and 5:30 a.m.
And on Wednesday, there were five more robberies: in the 3500 block of West 38th Place , the 3300 block of West 38th Place, the 4400 block of South Campbell, 3100 block of West 42nd Place, and 5200 block of South Mozart, all between 6:25 and 6:40 a.m.
The suspects were described as black males between 16-20, wearing hoodies and bandanas.
In northwest Indiana on Friday, the first robbery occurred about 6:20 a.m. in the 5800 block of Hohman Avenue, Hammond police said. The suspects, wearing hoodies, tried to rob an 85-year-old man, police said. A few minutes later, they robbed a 67-year-old man in the 4000 block of Grover Avenue.
And just minutes after the second robbery, they robbed a 33-year-old woman who was out with her 11-year-old daughter in the 4100 block of Wabash Avenue, police said.
Both suspects carried guns in each incident, including later that morning, when police believe they robbed a 49-year-old man in East Chicago.
The suspects are described as black males, between 16-24. They are believed to be between 5-feet-10-inches and 6 feet, with medium builds. One wore a white, hooded sweatshirt, the other a blue hooded sweatshirt. The vehicle was a four-door gray sedan.
“Investigators are following several leads they have received so far, but would like to encourage the public to continue to reach out and contact the Hammond or Chicago police department with any information containing the possible identity of the suspects,” Kellogg said.
Anyone who can identify any of the suspects or the vehicle should call Det. Sgt. Rich Tumidulsky at (219) 852-2997; Det. Lt. Dave Carter (219) 852-2984; or Det. Sgt. Tom Textor at (219) 852-2973.