Police search for thieves stealing drivers’ cell phones in Loop

CHICAGO – Police are searching for thieves who have been targeting drivers and stealing their cell phones in the Loop.

Tracey Alston was caught up in traffic at a standstill at Michigan Avenue and Randolph Street in the Loop when out of nowhere she noticed a young man walking up and waving to her. For a moment she thought she may have known him but then he grabbed her cell phone out of her hand and ran away.

“I was more concerned about the information on my phone so I immediately shut it down,” she said.

Her ordeal is one of a pattern in recent days prompting Chicago police to issue a community alert about thieves who are targeting drivers. In each incident, the offenders distracted the driver, opened the car door and took the victim's cell phone then fled on foot.

The incidents happened at the following locations:

  • 200 block of N. Michigan Ave., on May 15, 2018 in the evening hours.
  • 100 block of E. Lower Wacker Dr., on May 25, 2018 in the evening hours.
  • 100 block of S. Michigan Ave., on May 26, 2018 in the afternoon hours.
  • 400 block of N. Michigan Ave., on May 29, 2018 in the evening hours.
  • 0-100 block of E. Grand Ave., on June 3, 2018 in the evening hours.
  • 500 block of N. State St., on June 3, 2018 in the evening hours.

It's likely the thieves are having the phones scrubbed and then resold.

Police received various vague descriptions of the offender, or offenders, described as African American, male and between 15 to 20 years old.

Police are warning people to be aware of their surroundings. Anyone with information is asked to call police.