Armed robbers strike several times throughout the city, in one robbery using a steel hammer

At least seven armed robberies were reported throughout the city overnight, and in one robbery a steel hammer was used to threaten an employee, Chicago police said.

Shortly before 9:45 p.m. Monday, a robber entered a business with a steel hammer and threatened an employee in the 100 block of South Halsted Street in the West Loop Gate neighborhood, police said.

The robber threatened to batter the employee before taking merchandise of the shelf and fleeing south, police said.

About 10 p.m. Monday, two robbers armed with handguns entered a business in the 4500 block of North Kedzie Avenue and demanded property before fleeing in a light-colored sedan, police said.

Shortly before 10:30 p.m., two robbers entered a business with handguns in the 3300 block of West Lawrence Avenue, and demanded proceeds. A security guard opened the back door and startled the robbers who fled the business in a light-colored sedan, police said.

About 12:05 a.m. Tuesday, a 27-year-old man was riding his scooter in the 2200 block of North Clybourn Avenue when a red sedan approached and three armed robbers exited with handguns demanding his property, police said. The man fell to the ground suffering a minor head injury before the robbers fled the scene, police said.

Shortly before 12:30 a.m., four armed robbers approached a 42-year-old man who was leaving his residence in the 2100 block of West Huron Street. The robbers entered his apartment and rummaged through his belongings while one of the robbers struck him in the face causing a minor abrasion, police said. The man refused medical attention.

Shortly before 1 a.m., a man entered a business in the 4300 block of South Ashland Avenue and asked to purchase an item to distract the employee while an armed robber pulled out a gun and demanded property before fleeing the scene, police said.

Shortly after 5 a.m., a group of burglars crashed an SUV into a business in the 9000 block of South Ashland Avenue and took merchandise before fleeing the scene in a waiting SUV, possibly a white Jeep, police said. The thieves left the SUV used to make entry at the scene.

No one was in custody for any of the robberies, and detectives were investigating.