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Emily, a victim of an armed robbery, holds a shiny penny between her fingers, which have mauve painted fingernails.

Emily, who asked to only be referred to by her first name, holds a penny at her apartment in West Town a few weeks after being robbed at gunpoint outside the building on her way home. The penny is the only thing that was left in her wallet when her things — purse, wallet, fanny pack, make-up bag — were recovered by police.

Pat Nabong

Emily, a victim of an armed robbery, holds a shiny penny between her fingers, which have mauve painted fingernails.

Emily, who asked to only be referred to by her first name, holds a penny at her apartment in West Town a few weeks after being robbed at gunpoint outside the building on her way home. The penny is the only thing that was left in her wallet when her things — purse, wallet, fanny pack, make-up bag — were recovered by police.

Pat Nabong

WBEZ analysis of city data shows largest spike in robberies in more than two decades

Armed robberies, which increased 75% from July to Thanksgiving compared to the previous five month period, appeared to be driving the spike.

Emily, who asked to only be referred to by her first name, holds a penny at her apartment in West Town a few weeks after being robbed at gunpoint outside the building on her way home. The penny is the only thing that was left in her wallet when her things — purse, wallet, fanny pack, make-up bag — were recovered by police.

Pat Nabong

   

Robberies in Chicago have increased more in the last five months than in any other consecutive five-month period since 2001, the earliest year of crime data made available in the city's online portal. From July 1 to November 26, 2023, nearly 5,000 people filed reports of robbery with the Chicago Police Department.

Reset speaks with the journalists behind the investigation to learn more.

GUESTS: Alden Loury, WBEZ data projects editor

Sophie Sherry, Chicago Sun-Times staff reporter

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