CHICAGO (CBS) — Police late Wednesday issued a community alert about a spree of carjackings and armed robberies that have been happening around the city in recent days – including one that occurred right downtown early Wednesday morning.

The assailants have been taking vehicles at gunpoint and then using them as getaway cars as they have committed armed robberies, shootings, and additional carjackings.

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The armed robberies have occurred during the late evening or early morning hours when the suspects have entered restaurants through drive-through windows.

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Police specifically mentioned an armed robbery in the 5600 block of South Harlem Avenue in the Garfield Ridge neighborhood at 7:21 a.m. Sunday; a carjacking in the 9800 block of South Halsted Street at 5:17 a.m. Tuesday, and a carjacking on South Wacker Drive near Adams Street – close to the Willis Tower – at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Police released surveillance video of the Harlem Avenue robbery (below) and the Wacker Drive carjacking (above).

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Detectives are also investigating shootings in the Ogden (10th) and Harrison (11th) districts on the city’s West Side involving vehicles used in the aforementioned incidents.

The offenders are described as three to four men in black clothing, wearing masks, and driving a silver 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander with Illinois license plate BN48756.

Anyone with information is asked to call Area Four detectives at (312) 746-8251.

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An interactive map at this link shows the change in the number of carjackings in Chicago neighborhoods between 2019 and 2020.

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CBS 2 Chicago Staff