Hold the Phone: Restaurant Cell Thefts Up

Four incidents reported in three days in and around downtown

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Just like last year, there's been a rash of thefts of cell phones by people distracting diners. Natalie Martinez reports.

    Chicago Police issued a business alert Thursday warning merchants and citizens about a rash of cell phone thefts inside restaurants in the Central and Near North districts of the city.

    Four incidents were reported between Dec. 31 and Jan. 2.

    Investigators say anywhere from three to four males enters the restaurant and approaches individuals with cell phones on their table. They place a flier on top of the phone stating they're raising money for their basketball team, and when they remove the flier, they take the phone as well.

    The thefts occured at restaurants at the following locations:

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    • 300 Block of N. Michigan Ave. on Dec. 31
    • 600 Block of N. Fairbanks Ct. on Jan. 2
    • 100 Block of N. Wabash Ave. on Jan. 2
    • 400 Block of E. Ontario St. on Jan. 2

    The offenders, black males aged 14-25, were seen getting into a tan four-door hard-top vehicle, possibly a Buick.

    Police are urging individuals to stay aware of their surroundings and if confronted, never pursue a fleeing assailant but rather note any unique physical characteristics.

    Anyone with information on the thefts is urged to call the Area Central Bureau of Detectives at (312) 747-8380.