Sunday, January 21, 2018

Old Town, Boystown Robberies May Be Connected, Cops Say

Three people were robbed in two separate hold-ups early Saturday and police were working to see if the cases are related.

Just after 2 a.m. in Old Town, a 37-year-old man was walking in the 1600 block of North Orleans when three or four men exited a gold vehicle and approached him.

At least one of the offenders pulled out a handgun as the others demanded his property, according to police. The crew took the man’s wallet and phone, then asked for the victim’s PIN. He gave them a fake one and they took off.

Police said the offenders were black men with hoodies pulled over their faces who rode in a small, four-door gold car.

The 3100 block of North Broadway, near the scene where a man and woman were robbed early Saturday.
About 15 minutes later, a man and woman were robbed near Boystown in the 3100 block of North Broadway.

Police said the 25-year-old man and 24-year-old woman were walking when a silver or gold four-door sedan pulled up and three men emerged. At least one of the men had a handgun, police said.

The robbers took their victims’ valuables and returned to the car which sped off in an unknown direction. Police said the descriptions of the offenders on Broadway generally aligned with the descriptions given by the victim in Old Town.

On Thursday, police issued a community alert to warn about a robbery pattern in the Old Town area. The suspects in those hold-ups were reportedly using a white Nissan Maxima.
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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Man Charged With Setting Fire On CTA Train

An Irving Park man used paint thinner to set himself, a book bag, and train seats on fire aboard a Red Line train at the Argyle CTA station, prosecutors said today.

Ferguson in a December mugshot | CPD
Judge Stephanie Miller ordered 28-year-old David M. Ferguson held without bail.

One passenger was splashed with paint thinner, a police officer’s pants leg was set ablaze, and a CTA conductor suffered smoke-related injuries during the incident which unfolded in the fourth car of a southbound train around 5:20 p.m. Thursday, according to police and court records.

Ferguson remains hospitalized with third-degree burns.

He is charged with aggravated arson, aggravated battery in a public place, and aggravated battery to a police officer.

Police records show that Ferguson had been arrested twice in the month leading up to the fire.

On December 15, he was arrested at the Roosevelt Red Line station and charged with battery. Ferguson was arrested at Northwestern Memorial Hospital on December 27 and charged with assault. The statuses of those two cases were not immediately available on Saturday.
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Friday, January 19, 2018

Another Boystown Menace Charged With Armed Robbery

It’s been six months since a Florida tourist in Boystown refused to press robbery charges against Derrick Robie. Since then, the 20-year-old pride of Dolton, IL, has been arrested repeatedly for weapons and theft charges along the LGBTQ bar strip.

Robie | Chicago Police Dept
Late Monday night, cops stopped Robie on Halsted Street in Boystown because they had been told by a detective that he was wanted for an armed robbery on the Morse Red Line station platform, according to court records.

According to prosecutors, Robie approached a 27-year-old Rogers Park resident at the Morse station around 3:30 a.m. on January 8 and asked for money. When the man refused, Robie lifted his shirt and displayed the grip of a handgun in his waistband, police said.

Faced with the threat of being shot, the victim opened his wallet and Robie used one hand to take the victim's money while keeping his other hand on his waistband, according to court records.

Robie was charged with armed robbery with a firearm on Tuesday.

Despite the facts that Robie is charged a Class X violent crime; that he has a pending court case for sale or possession of a weapon; and the fact that he has previously jumped bail on an assault charge, Cook County Judge Stephanie Miller ordered him released on electronic monitoring with a $50,000 recognizance bond.

In June, a 22-year-old college student from Florida told police that Robie shoved the victim into a wall near Halsted and Belmont, pressed a knife to his stomach, and said, “Gimme the phone, you know what this is.”

Cops said they recovered a knife from Robie that the victim identified as the weapon used in the hold-up, but the man refused to press robbery charges because he lives so far away. Robie was convicted of sale or possession of a weapon.

One week after the Florida man accused him of robbery, Robie was arrested in Boystown and charged with theft for allegedly knocking a 60-year-old beggar’s change cup from his and stealing money at Halsted and Roscoe. Charges were dropped when the victim failed to show up in court.

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LOOP: Jimmy John's Worker Tried To Rob Subway, Cops Say

Jimmy John's worker Cherene Slue came up short when she tried to rob this Loop Subway on Monday, cops say.
Police say a woman wearing a Jimmy John’s sandwich shop uniform tried to rob a competing Subway restaurant in the Loop on Monday, but her plan was half-baked.

Decked out in a “gourmet sandwiches” t-shirt, Cherene Slue, 27, allegedly walked into the Subway at 604 South Wabash shortly after 8 p.m. and handed the clerk a note.

Cherene Slue | Chicago Police Department
“I have a gun and give me $60,” it said, according to the clerk.

When the man said he had no money, Slue insisted that she had a gun. The clerk walked to the back of the store and Slue left empty-handed, police say.

Police found Slue standing on the sidewalk about two blocks south of the Subway ten minutes later.

A police lock-up guard reported that Slue told her “I did something stupid. I just needed money.”

In her left jacket pocket, prosecutors said, was a note: “I have a gun. I don’t want to hurt you. Please don’t speak, just give me $60 now!!”

Detectives are trying to determine if Slue is responsible for two other robberies in which an offender used an identical note, according to a police department source. As of now, though, she is only accused in the Subway case.

Slue, of the South Loop, is charged with attempted aggravated robbery-indicating presence of a firearm. Judge Stephanie Miller ordered her released on electronic monitoring with a $50,000 recognizance bond.
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UPDATE: Alleged CTA Train Robber Charged With Second Hold-Up In Loop

John Peralta is now also charged with robbing a man behind the Cadillac Palace Theater. | CPD; Google
New information this morning about the arrest of a man who allegedly robbed a CTA passenger at gunpoint onboard a train in the Loop on January 7.

As we reported this weekend, cops arrested 20-year-old John Peralta outside of the Cadillac Palace Theatre around 4:40 p.m., moments after the robbery took place at the Washington/Wells station.

Now, CWB has learned that the cops who made the arrest were on their way to a second robbery taking place near the Palace Theatre stage door entrance on Wells Street. As they neared the theater, the cops said they saw Peralta drop a gun in the crosswalk at LaSalle and Randolph, authorities said. He picked it up, put it back in his waistband and shuffled away, they said.

Locations of first alleged robbery (1); second alleged robbery (2) and Peralta's arrest (3).
He didn’t get far.

Peralta is charged with robbing the second man.  Judge David Navarro ordered him held without bail.
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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Cop Injured As Man Threatens Red Line Passengers, Sets Fire Aboard Train

A man is in custody after he reportedly threatened fellow Red Line passengers with a flammable liquid and a lighter then set a book bag ablaze at the Argyle station during tonight’s rush hour, according to police and witnesses.

One police officer suffered minor injuries when as they tried to arrest the suspect on the Argyle platform, 1118 West Argyle, according to a source. An officer on-scene said that the cop's pant leg had caught fire during the suspect's apprehension. But a police spokesman said the officer's injuries were "not related to the fire."

A CTA employee suffered smoke-related injuries and is reported in stable condition at Weiss Hospital. No passengers were injured. Here are the early details:

Just after 5:15 p.m., police received calls from passengers who reported that a man had “gasoline and bottles” onboard their southbound train. The man had pulled out a lighter and threatened to set himself on fire, some 911 callers said according to emergency radio traffic.

An arriving officer said the platform was packed with passengers who had evacuated the train and the man was also on the platform—“holding lighter fluid with a lighter.”

The offender, believed to be in his mid-20's was taken to Weiss Hospital with reportedly minor injuries.

Officially, police are saying that “a male offender started a fire while on a CTA train.” Fire officials said a book bag had been set ablaze.

A passenger who had been on the train told CWBChicago that the man began acting erratically as the train reached the Berwyn station. One passenger told the Chicago Tribune that the man splashed her with a chemical that he carried in a water bottle.

Shortly after 6 p.m., a conductor moved the train to the Howard trainyard where the police and fire department’s bomb and arson teams were waiting to begin their investigation.
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Old Town: Two Robberies Since Sunday Prompts Police Alert

Approximate locations of two muggings reported this week in Old Town. | BatchGeo
Two evening time muggings this week in the Old Town neighborhood have sparked a community alert from Chicago cops.

In both robberies, offenders have emerged from a white Nissan Maxima, pushed their victims to the ground, and stolen valuables before escaping in the car, police said.

The first robbery in the pattern was reported around 8 p.m. on Sunday in the 1500 block of North Weiland and the second at 6 p.m. on Tuesday in the 500 block of West Wisconsin, according to the alert.

Police said the Weiland robbers were two men. One is black, stands about 6’1” tall and weighs about 165 pounds. The other was described only as black and about 5’10” tall.

The suspects on Wisconsin were described as two black men who stand 5’9” to 5’11” tall.

Anyone with information about the robberies is asked to call Area North detectives at (312) 747-8380
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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

GOTCHA! Accused Lakeview Burglar Faces 14 Felony Counts

Police say.Mark Walker (inset) is the man who broke into cars at a Lakeview condo complex last month.
Well, well, well. Look who we have here.

Just before Christmas, we shared photos with you of an easy-going burglar who spent nearly an hour breaking into cars and picking locks at two condo buildings near the Paulina Brown Line station.

Now, Chicago police say they’ve caught the guy: 48-year-old Mark Walker. He’s charged with sixteen criminal counts including burglary, bank fraud, and more.

Shortly after noon last Wednesday, 20th District cops were called to the 5400 block of North Broadway to handle a car break-in case. When they arrived, they found Walker and the car’s owner on-scene. Walker “admitted to breaking the back passenger window” of the man’s Range Rover.

He also told police that he arrived in Edgewater via taxi, authorities say. And the cab was still there with its meter running as he ran “errands.”

Cops inspected the taxi and found a bag full of burglary tools—a screwdriver, a window punch, a pry bar, box cutter, socket, ratchet, he had it all, they said.

Detectives quickly connected Walker to a month-long, one-man crime spree that stretched from River North to the United Center to Lakeview.

Nine of the criminal charges against Walker stem from his two alleged break-ins of Lakeview condo buildings on December 21.

Walker is charged with burglarizing one condo residence in the 1600 block of West Belmont that night and then burglarizing or damaging eight cars in a condo building garage in the 3200 block of North Paulina minutes later.

On December 22, Walker broke into an office building in the 200 block of West Superior, cops say. Later that day, he allegedly tried to use a check that he stole from one of the offices.

On January 8, prosecutors say he tried to cash a stolen check made out to his name at a currency exchange near the United Center.

Walker is charged with nine counts of burglary, one count of residential burglary, two counts of bank fraud, criminal damage to property, theft of lost or mislaid property, possession of burglary tools, and illegal possession of eight hydrocodone pills.

Judge Stephanie Miller ordered Walker released on electronic monitoring with a $25,000 recognizance bond. Walker lists a homeless shelter on the Near West Side as his residence.
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Cops: Lakeview Condo Worker Burglarized Five Units, Taking Cash, Jewelry, More

Lopez | Chicago Police Dept
A Lakeview condo building’s maintenance worker has been charged with burglarizing multiple units in the high-rise complex and making off with tens of thousands of dollars in residents' property during the second-half of 2017.

Victor Lopez Jr of Hammond, IN, was charged in October with stealing jewelry from a woman’s unit while she vacation in September. Now, cops say he has been connected to four more cases in the building which stands on the 300 block of West Barry.

After stealing the property, Lopez sold items at pawn shops while presenting his own identification to complete the transactions, police said.

The burglary spree began on July 1 when Lopez allegedly entered a woman’s condo and stole gold rings, necklaces, pendants encrusted with jewels, pocket watches, wrist watches, and cash valued at more than $10,000.

He entered another unit and stole two rings three weeks later, followed by the theft of a 14-karat gold horseshoe with diamonds from a man’s condo on August 20, police said

In late September, Lopez allegedly took two “knock off” Cartier watches, a Raymond Weil watch, several rings, an engraved gold bracelet, numerous gold chains and $800 cash from a vacationing resident’s condo. He was charged in this case on October 20.

The final incident came between October 1 and October 15 when Lopez entered a woman’s residence and took three platinum rings, a monogrammed 70-piece sterling silver flatware set, bracelets, rings, and cash, investigators said.

Altogether, Lopez is charged with four felony counts of residential burglary and one count of theft. Judge Stephanie Miller ordered him released on electronic monitoring with a $25,000 recognizance bond.
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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

VIDEO: Wicker Park Robbery Video Provides Another Learning Moment

The latest North Side robbery alert from Chicago Police focuses on three incidents reported Friday in Wicker Park. But everyone can learn by watching surveillance video of one of the hold-ups.

One of the best ways to train your gut instinct is to learn how street criminals operate.

Around 12:45 p.m. on Friday, a carload of robbers turned onto the 1600 block of North Honore. The suspects immediately spotted a potential victim walking in their direction.

The gunman returns to his car as the victim looks on. | Chicago Police Dept
Their next move is an all-too-common maneuver for criminals: The driver quickly turned into an alley—the sudden slowing and wide turn into the alley indicates it was an afterthought—and pulled out of the victim’s view. As far as the woman knew, the car continued traveling in the alley. But it didn’t. The vehicle came to a stop. A gunman jumped out of the back seat and walked toward the mouth of the alley, arriving just in time to intercept his target.

Watch the video to see the technique in action.

The same method was used by a Lakeview crew that was captured on video in October. Once again, notice the car slows quickly, then turns as the target is identified.

Pay particular attention when vehicles suddenly change course or seem to make unplanned turns such as those seen in the videos.

Be aware as you approach corners, whether they be at alleys, intersections, or next to tall walls and fences. Consider walking on the street side of the sidewalk to put a little more space between you and anything that may be around those corners.

Police said the men in the latest video used a silver 4 door Chevrolet Impala to rob two more women on Friday: in the 1600 block of North Leavitt within minutes of the hold-up that was caught on tape and in the 2100 block of West Caton around 11:10 a.m.

Their car was stolen, police said.

Anyone with information about the suspects is asked to call Area North Detectives at 312-744-8263.

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• VIDEO: Chinatown Mugging Provides Lessons For All (November 15, 2017)
• Armed Home Invader Awakens Lincoln Park Man (October 19, 2017) 
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