Downtown Chicago hit with violent armed robbery spree

A series of violent armed robberies that sent three people to the hospital happened in less than an hour across downtown Chicago on Thursday morning.

The first robbery happened around 12:15 a.m. when two gunmen approached a group of three males who were on the sidewalk in the 500 block of South Racine Avenue, police said. The suspects took the victim's property and got into a brown sedan that drove off northbound on Racine Avenue.

Roughly 10 minutes later, a 66-year-old woman was walking on the sidewalk when two gunmen approached her in the 600 block of North Fairbanks Court in Streeterville.. One of them started shooting while the other suspect dragged her onto the street before she let go of her belongings, police said. The victim was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where she was listed in good condition. Police said the suspects fled the scene in a gray sedan.

Minutes later, a man and a woman were approached by a pair of gunmen who demanded their property in the 700 block of South Clark Street in the South Loop. Police said the 46-year-old woman was pistol-whipped when she tried to intervene. The suspects fled the scene in a silver sedan and nothing was reported stolen.

Around 12:30 a.m., two people were on the sidewalk when two males armed with handguns got out of a light-colored vehicle and demanded their property in the 200 block of East Randolph Street, police said.

The 36-year-old victim was struck on the cheek with a handgun. Then, the suspects took property from the 34-year-old woman and fled the scene in an unknown direction. The 36-year-old refused medical treatment at the scene.

The last robbery took place just before 1 a.m. in the 100 block of East Wacker Drive. Two gunmen got out of a vehicle and demanded the belongings of three people who were walking on the sidewalk. A 28-year-old woman was hit on the head and a 25-year-old man suffered cuts to his hand and knee. They were both transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where they were listed in good condition.

Chicago police issued a community alert Thursday morning in connection with the robberies. Police described the suspects as between 15 and 20 years old, wearing dark-colored hoodies and black ski masks. The vehicle used in the robberies was a four-door sedan with a dark-color-painted passenger door.

There is no one in custody in any of the robberies. Area Three detectives are investigating.