Police have issued an alert to North Side businesses warning of a series of armed robberies that have occurred since late August.
Robberies have taken place in Lakeview, Uptown and Lincoln Park, all in the evening, the alert said. Two to five offenders, generally described as black males 20-35, enter the businesses and take them over at gunpoint.
They rob employees, demanding access to cash registers and safes. In some of the robberies, they have taken cartons of cigarettes as well as personal belongings of the employees, such as cell phones and wallets.
The robberies have taken place at the following locations and times:
— 2100 block of West Belmont, Aug. 21, about 10:30 p.m.;
— 4800 block of North Broadway, Aug. 24, about 8:20 p.m.;
— 2800 block of North Ashland, Aug. 26, about 8:30 p.m.;
— 1600 block of North Maplewood, Sept. 2, about 6 p.m.;
— 6700 block of North Ridge, Sept. 14, about 6:40 p.m.;
— 500 block of West Diversey, Sept. 25, about 8:30 p.m.;
— 1900 block of North Elston, Sept. 29, about 6 p.m.; and
— 4100 block of North Sheridan, Sept. 29, about 6:50 p.m.
The robbers have medium to dark complexions and are 5-foot-9 to 6-foot-3, and range in weight from 170 to 240 pounds. One wore his hair in braids. They often wearing dark hooded jackets and some type of hat.
Police advise business owners to ensure hold-up alarm systems and video surveillance equipment are in working order, be aware of suspicious people who may be casing their business, and to call 911 and provide a detailed description of offender(s) including vehicle description.