Police warn of new ‘flier ruse’ robberies
Loop North News


(Above) Google Street View of area near Michigan Avenue & Washington Street in the Loop where a robbery occurred on June 5 at about 6:00 p.m.

13-Jun-19 – Chicago police are again warning about mobile phones being stolen from people distracted by handbills.

According to a June 7 alert to owners and customers of restaurants and other retail businesses in the Loop, five robbers have approached victims “under the guise of soliciting funds” for a nonprofit program.

Police say the robbers distract their victim by waving a flier in front of him or her, then place the flier over the victim’s mobile phone or wallet as it lies unattended on a table or counter. When the robbers retrieve the flier, they take with them the victim’s property.

Four incidents were reported at locations in the Loop on June 5 and June 6, including Michigan Avenue near Washington Street at about 6:00 p.m. on June 5, Michigan Avenue & Jackson Drive at 12:50 p.m. on June 6, Jackson Boulevard near Wells Street at 5:05 p.m. on June 6, and the 800 block of South Clark Street at 5:55 p.m. on June 6.

The suspects are described as black males. Three are in their late teens or twenties and one is in his 30s.

Robberies north of the Loop more forceful

Another alert, issued on June 7, warns of robberies north of the Loop. According to Chicago police, these robbers approach victims from behind and grab phones or purses from their hands. They’ve been seen getting away in either a white vehicle with tinted windows or a gray Ford vehicle.

Six incidents were reported between May 28 and June 6 in the Streeterville and Gold Coast neighborhoods during afternoon and evening hours. Locations include the 200 block of East Pearson Street near the Museum of Contemporary Art, twice in the 800 block of North Lake Shore Drive near its intersection with Pearson Street, twice in the 100 block of East Oak Street, and once in the 200 block of East Chestnut Street.

Google Street View

(Left) Google Street View of area along Pearson Street in Streeterville where a robbery occurred on the evening of May 28.

Police are looking for one or two black men, 14 to 18 years old, five-feet-five-inches to five-feet-ten-inches tall, and two black women, 17 to 21 years old, five-feet-three-inches to five-feet-six-inches tall. The suspects all weigh between 130 and 160 pounds, according to witnesses.

By Steven Dahlman | Loop North News | sdahlman@loopnorth.com

Published 13-Jun-19 6:22 PM

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