Saturday, December 01, 2018

Milwaukee women charged with posing as Uber drivers, selling dope in River North

Nicole Cathey (left) and Lateka Delaney are charged with posing as ride-hail drivers and criminal trespass to vehicle. | CPD

Chicago police are once again warning about women who are posing as Uber drivers to rob people in downtown nightlife districts. The alert comes after two more people were robbed by the duo in November. Separately, CWBChicago has learned that two Milwaukee women were arrested in River North for allegedly operating a fake Uber vehicle to offer rides and cocaine outside of a River North nightclub last weekend.

Prosecutors say 23-year-old Lateka Delaney was behind the wheel and 38-year-old Nicole Cathey was the passenger when the two began soliciting rides outside of the Concrete Cowboy, 646 North Franklin, around 4 a.m. on Nov. 24th.

A man who got into their car told police that Delaney and Cathey subsequently asked if he wanted to party and offered to sell him cocaine, according to the officer’s report.

Cops arrested the women a few minutes later and allegedly recovered a bag of cocaine from the driver’s side floorboard. Neither woman was authorized to be driving the car, which was a rental vehicle, police said.

Delaney is charged with criminal trespass to a vehicle, possession of cocaine, soliciting an unlawful business and soliciting. Cathey is charged with criminal trespass to a vehicle, soliciting an unlawful business and soliciting. Both women were released on recognizance bonds.

Police records show that Cathey was arrested for DUI and having open liquor in a vehicle in River North at 4 a.m. on Sept. 2nd.  Then, at 4:14 a.m. on Oct. 19th, she was arrested in River North again for driving on a suspended license. The outcomes of those two cases were not immediately available.

Renewed Warnings

Meanwhile, police repeated their warning about a still-at-large robbery duo that struck again early on Nov. 15th in the 1100 block of North Clark and early on Nov. 24th in the 600 block of North Dearborn. In both cases, the women lured victims into a vehicle by presenting themselves as a ride-hailing service. Once inside the offenders’ car, the victims were robbed, police said.

Detectives said in a community alert that the wanted offenders are two or three black women between 20- and 35-years-old. They stand 5’1” to 5’6” tall and weigh 120-150 pounds, police said.

The same crew is suspected of robbing at least seven other victims since August 31st, mostly in the River North area, according to police.

Anyone with information about the robbers is asked to call Area Central detectives at 312-747-8380.

Un-Common Sense

Chicago police are still urging the public to be informed ride-hail service users. Among the police department’s tips:
• Only take rides that are arranged through an approved app. 
• Avoid spending unnecessary time outside alone with your phone in your hand. Request your ride while inside and wait inside for it to arrive. 
• Monitor your ride’s location on the app to avoid fake drivers. 
• Get in the correct vehicle. Ask the driver for their name. Match it to the name on the app. Also match up the license plate number, vehicle make and model, and driver photo before you get inside. If anything doesn’t match up or if something seems wrong, cancel the ride, protest the cancelation fee, and report the incident. 
• Sit in the back seat, not the front. That way, you have two doors to use as exits. Sit on one side or the other, not in the middle. This builds some space between you and the driver.  
• Police did not recommend this one, but we will: Avoid using “pool” rides. The fewer strangers in your car, the better.
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