Thursday, February 14, 2019

"Flyer boy" charged with stealing phones from River North restaurant customers

Larry Hudson | CPD
A five-time convicted felon who’s on parole for burglary has been charged with stealing cell phones from River North restaurant customers while posing as a charitable “flyer boy.” Larry Hudson, 24, immediately pleaded guilty to one count of theft of lost or mislaid property and was sentenced to two days time served by Judge Donald Panarese Jr.

On Saturday afternoon, police were called to a restaurant in the 800 block of North Wells by a witness who reported that the man who recently stole a phone from a customer in the eatery had returned. The man was gone by the time police arrived, but officers soon found a white Toyota nearby that had recently been used in a series of phone thefts from downtown restaurants.

While police watched the vehicle, Hudson emerged from another restaurant and officers conducted a street stop.

According to a police report, cops found a bag containing six cellphones in the Toyota near where Hudson was sitting. He was taken into custody and charged.

Police confiscated a stack of charitable solicitation hand-outs for "Chicago Bucket Boys" from Hudson. Similar flyers had been used to distract restaurant patrons by phone thieves in the area, according to a community alert that was issued one day before Hudson’s arrest.

In the alert, police said a man had been entering restaurants to solicit diners with charitable flyers. The paperwork would then be used as a distraction while the offender stole the victim’s phone from their tabletop, according to police.

Nine cases reported since Jan. 21 were listed in the alert with most incidents being reported in River North.

State records show that Hudson was paroled in December after serving about half of a four-year sentence for burglary. He was previously sent to prison for two years in 2014 for a pair of theft convictions and 3-1/2 years for two robberies in 2012.
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