Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Electronics Thieves Targeting Uber, Lyft Cars Downtown

Window- and dash-mounted phones are the latest targets for Chicago's criminal element.
The information has been slowly coming together.

First, there were reports about groups of people walking between cars stopped at red lights, looking into vehicles. Callers to 911 think it looks suspicious.

Then came reports of criminals opening doors of cars in traffic to rob passengers. Like this man in Streeterville and this Uber driver.

Now, a police source has pieced it all together.

Chicago’s always-evolving criminal masterminds have picked a new favorite target: The phones and other electronics that Uber and Lyft drivers use to do their jobs.

The drivers’ phones—often secured to windshields with suction cups or nestled to the dashboard—are now seen as easy pickings.

In fact, two Lyft drivers were targeted within two hours downtown on Tuesday afternoon alone.

Around 2:45 p.m. yesterday, a Lyft driver reported that three flyer boys approached his car on Michigan Avenue near Monroe, opened the door, punched him in the face, and tried to wrench his phone off of the dash. The robbery attempt failed and the trio ran away westbound on Monroe.

Two hours later, another Lyft driver reportedly bailed out of his car near Michigan and Wacker to chase a couple of thieves who reached into his vehicle and stole his phone. The driver eventually lost track of the bandits inside the pedway.

Needless to say, locking your doors and refusing to roll down your windows while expensive electronics are in plain view is now recommended.

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