Thursday, August 21, 2014

BOYSTOWN: Purse Snatcher Tracked Down, Arrested

Vacha (Cook Co. Sheriff's Office)
UPDATE 11:13AM: Earlier this year, the suspect created a video while attending the Windy City Times' Youth Summit. His closing thought? "Don't trust everybody at first glance...always be aware of your surroundings."

UPDATE 2:45PM: DNAInfo Chicago has a story with details about the victim, a woman whose husband died from a long illness the night before this mugging. "Now that he attacked an old lady, I'm happy because now it is a serious crime."
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A Boystown purse snatcher was arrested less than 15 minutes after the crime Tuesday evening thanks to a quick response and GPS on the victim's phone.

Officers responded to the 7-Eleven at Roscoe and Halsted just before 8PM Tuesday to assist an "elderly woman" whose purse had just been taken. The offender fled south through the alley behind Progress bar and Sidetrack, according to witnesses.

Minutes later, the victim's phone was "pinging" near Broadway and Belmont. Officers zipped over there and found a person matching the offender's description—male, black, 18-20 years old, wearing a camouflage shirt—inside Brazilian Bowl restaurant.

Property belonging to the victim was found on the suspect who was positively identified by a witness. He also led officers to a dumpster where he threw out some of the victim's property behind the 600 block of Aldine. An officer retrieved the additional items and returned them to the victim.

Robert Vacha, 21,  of the 5500 block of South Wabash is charged with robbery of a senior citizen. Bail is set at $250,000.

CPD case number is HX394513.

Vacha has no previous adult criminal charges according to Cook County Criminal Court records.

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45 comments:

  1. Another good job by the folks in 019. See what happens when you have more than a few police in a district, Rahm? You get work done.

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  2. Yes! Thank you officers of 019!

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  3. And he was in the neighborhood because?????..job?...work program....free food and lodging...yeah...that's it.

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  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUPZhDcAxGI

    Same guy?

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    1. OMG! Great find. What has he learned so far? Tea tree smell? Really?

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    2. Is there really a doubt that the two are the same person? I mean come on!

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    3. Yes! That is him!

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    4. This is actually kind of sad. He seems like a pretty good kid in the video. It's unfortunate that he didn't take his own advice.

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    5. Seems like a pretty good kid? Are you serious? He is the poster boy for the entitlement class. He complained at length that 25 is too young to be cut off from free housing/programs and felt there should be a transition period after 25 to help him learn how to be an adult!

      He then complained that when he moved here a few months ago, no one rolled the red carpet out for him with a big marketing campaign to tell him where to go to get all the free stuff. He had to (lord no!) ask around to find the free services.

      THIS mentality is why people ultimately steal purses from old ladies.

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    6. How ironic that this fucking entitled punk closes the interview saying don't trust everyone. The old woman who he robbed probably now thinks the same.

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  5. Certainly looks like him.

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  6. This kid looks like he is 12 years old. I wonder what business he was up here to frequent and patronize - oh wait, no where. His obvious reason for being here was the prey upon people. Good job officers! Let them know their behavior will NOT be tolerated here.

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  7. Maybe he was in the neighborhood to take advantage of the wonderful "social services" offered by so many of the fine agencies we have over here. < eye roll > EXCELLENT work, 019 officers and staff!! And kudos to CWB for publishing some good news for a change (the arrest, not the attack on the poor woman.) Attacking and stealing form an elderly person is unacceptable and reflects highly on the character of little Mr. Vacha. Lastly, ARE YOU READING THIS, TUNNEY AND RAHM??? See what happens when there is SUFFICIENT POLICE STAFFING in a crime-sodden neighborhood?

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  8. Additional details and context in the DNAInfo writeup:
    http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20140821/lakeview/grieving-widow-helps-catch-mugger-are-you-going-be-lamb-or-lion

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  9. I guess equality now mean equally robbing.

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  10. His first and last name is listed on the youtube page, of course it's the same person. I just cannot imagine stealing an elderly womans purse. I mean, what in the world is gonig on out there. People have no morals. He could not be starving, he's dressed nicely and wearing hair extension ropes in the video.

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    1. Great job to the officers working their butt off to help this community out!

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  11. His advice to other people at the end is to call the Broadway Youth Center and the Center on Halsted for help. If I were running that show, I would not want people to call a shelter for when they decide to move to the city. The judge was not playing around here. Bail is set at $250,000. He won't be terrorizing Lakeview again. At least not for about a year. If the woman who was robbed does not show up to identify him in a court case, he will be back at Belmont and Broadway in search of a new victim.

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    1. "I am confident that criminals do not use the services of Center on Halsted."

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    2. The Center on Halsted should be shut down. Unfortunately these non-profits don't have any oversight like say a mental health facility does. They have a lot of programs they aren't qualified to offer.

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  12. From the DNA Info article:

    "Vacha, who appeared Wednesday in court, was charged with robbery of a person over 60 years old and ordered held on $250,000 bail."

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  13. He probably was hungry with no money. He was captured in a restaurant about to use the woman's
    credit card. He appears a bit older and without the hair locks in the mug shot above than in the video
    where he seems articulate and a decent person. It's a shame he just wreaked his life by impulsively
    making the wrong decision apparently in order to feed himself.

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    1. You may be jumping to conclusions. In the video, he clearly knows all about the various service agencies that are here to help. If he chose to rob rather than go to resources he absolutely knew about, well, here he sits.

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    2. Uh, "decent" people do not go around mugging little old ladies no matter how "articulate" they might be.

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    3. In trying to use her credit card, did he think that he could pass for whatever the old woman's name was with his hair extensions?

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    4. He had enough money for beer the night before.

      http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=806114246088869&set=pb.100000709021295.-2207520000.1409070757.&type=3&src=https%3A%2F%2Ffbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net%2Fhphotos-ak-xap1%2Fv%2Ft1.0-9%2F10561823_806114246088869_528560658313019034_n.jpg%3Foh%3D5f794cc4eadf9618c9cb9304bb65917c%26oe%3D545B2E06%26__gda__%3D1417352527_5ddaa5c37e70ab930752f94cb8f5ed79&size=720%2C960

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    5. This purse snatcher goes by the name of Jacob Lapinskas on his Facebook page, probably just one of many aliases.

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  14. Hoping very much that CWB will let us know when/if they find out what this little creep's sentence ends up being.

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  15. he'll be back....... not the first or last robbery in his life...... good job cpd....

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  16. For the person who posted its so sad because this kid seemed good, YOU are so out of touch with reality! Whats sad is this poor lady just buried her husband and a thug whos lived his entire life on tax payer money robs an elderly woman instead of doing whats right and getting a job. Instead his typical entitlement attitude and recently visits a neighborhood and terrorizes hard working law abiding tax paying people who actually respect others. I bet any money this woman went her entire life of 60 plus years and never had a brush with the law and retired after waking up every morning for decades to earn her possessions. And this adult who just happens to look young comes by and forecfully robs this senior with no remorse whatsoever not even blinking because he deserves anything anytime he wants. How many other times did he do this and worse, probably dozens and never caught? I bet any money this senior citizen will have fear and anxiety for years to come about this and that is the real tragedy. For all you that are happy dont get too excited; follow the case and he'll get funny supervison or probation at the most. The public defender will paint the unloved home he came from and the judge will say some firm but non believable statement acting like he means it and he ll continue to commit 20 more crimes by age 30 while on his pathetic probation. Then governor quinn and sheriff dart will say they dont have money to supervise him and he learns pretty quickly no ones really cares when he thugs and robs. This is the reality. Drive by coh or byc and youll see this "kid" hanging out on the sidewalk by thanksgiving. He will need to rob in time for christmas. I guarantee it. Check back in a year or two and see that im indeed accurate.

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    1. He has no other charges on his adult record.

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  17. Great job by the CPD! Anyone who preys on the elderly needs to be locked up for a long time.

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    1. These officers happened to be in area, didn't really want to even get this arrest it turned into a big long mess. But they had to do their jobs anyways.

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  18. I am waiting for someone to minimize this felony crime by calling it a "mistake" and to apologize for this criminal's actions by saying he is "trying to turn his life around" and he is "a good kid" and "he is an honor student."

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  19. In the YouTube video, which was taped in the lobby of the CoH, I am sickened by this unemployed punk's entitlement attitude and how the punk was directed and coddled by the Windy City Times interviewer to support that agenda and how he even gave a shout-out to "Precious" at the CoH.

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  20. That youtube video should be surgically attached to the Center On Halsted. Listen to him complain about the lack of housing then stop and consider what will end up in the "senior" building going up on Halsted.

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  21. While the young, articulate, neat appearing and intelligent soon-to-be-robber Robert J. Vacha commended BYC and Coh, neither organization/facility hosted or facilitated the youth summit. It was, instead, directed by Kim Hunt, executive director of Affinity Youth Services. Over the three days, it was convened at Lurie Children's Hospital, UIC, and the Museum of Broadcast Communication, respectively.

    The foundations and groups assisting with the summit include: The Crossroads Fund, True Colors Fund, Polk Bros Foundation, Alphawood Foundation Chicago, Liz and Eric Lefkofsky, Pierce Family Foundation, Lehman-Stamm Family Fund, Woods Fund of Chicago, Heartland Human Care Services, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, Affinity Community Services, Lambda Legal, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Chicago House, Howard Brown Health Center, and ChicagoPride.com . The venues donating their facilities are: Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital, the University of Illinois at Chicago Gender and Sexuality Center, and the Museum of Broadcast Communications.

    The WCT-hosted event was timely, relevant and necessary. Beyond that, the agencies involved with working with these misdirected young people need better training and direction.

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    1. WCT ... OMG ... LOL ... a rag that refuses to acknowledge crime is running rampant in Boystown.

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  22. btw the court date for this incident is Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014 at Branch 42, Room 2, at 2452 W. Belmont.
    Everyone is invited to attend.
    But remember, no cell phones allowed in the building.

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    1. What time? Is there a way to make sure the victim shows up?

      Also CWB, in a situation like this where the "suspect" clearly has stolen property on his person and is arrested, does the victim actually (really?) have to accuse him in court? If so, no wonder we are so screwed in Chicago.

      Many laws need to change if we are ever to get a handle on crime and violence.

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    2. does the victim actually (really?) have to accuse him in court?

      Yes. Be an American.

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    3. I am an American and am wholeheartedly for the Constitution, innocent and until proven guilty, etc.
      (Not sure I appreciate the insult as I am trying to understand and asking a question in sincerity).

      My point was simply that since a person is CLEARLY IN POSSESSION OF STOLEN PROPERTY, why should the victim have to show up in court if the police already know for a fact that the person stole it? There could be 101 extenuating circumstances for the victim being unable to appear in court (what if they were in the hospital? or dead? or in their own wedding?) so I don't understand why someone would be released if they are so clearly guilty.

      Sorry I'm not as up on the law as you all. Again, which is why I was asking...

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    4. So, any update on what happened to this punk in court this past Tuesday?

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    5. He remains in jail with bail remaining at $250K

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