Three arrested for bike gang robberies over weekend in Oak Park

Two juveniles and an adult have been arrested in connection with a series of robberies committed by bicycle-riding offenders over the weekend, Oak Park police say.

On August 24, police received reports of “groups of six to 10 individuals on bicycles” who surrounded their victims before taking their cell phones and wallets. Such incidents took place on the 1100 block of North Ridgeland Avenue, the 300 block of Thomas Street and the 100 block of Lake Street between 10:45 and 11 p.m.

One of the suspects from the Thomas Street robbery, a juvenile, was apprehended later on the 100 block of Washington Boulevard minutes after the incident — their location given away by the GPS application on one of the stolen phones. The offender was brought back to the scene of the crime and identified by the victim.

Police did not immediately release the name of the adult arrested in the robberies.

Oak Park Police Chief Rick Tanksley said that the village’s proximity to Chicago was partly to blame for the incidents.

“These types of crimes are among the disadvantages of sharing a border with a major metropolitan area, as criminals can simply hop on a bicycle, cross the border to commit crimes and then flee back into a dense, urban neighborhood,” said Oak Park Police Chief Rick Tanksley.

In another related incident, police said that a group on bicycles rode into a block party on the 700 block of North Taylor Avenue just before midnight on August 23 and “took a cell phone from a table, where the phone had been used to play music.” Victims told police that the offenders claimed to be armed at the time, though no weapons were seen.

Chicago police made two other arrests for similar crimes, which the department linked to the incidents in Oak Park. Police said that additional arrests were “likely.”

“It is with crimes such as these that law enforcement agencies often must rely on cooperation and coordination to make arrests,” said Tanksley. “That is exactly what we were able to do with these individuals.”

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