By Jean Lotus
Oak Park Police arrested two suspects in two different cell phone robberies this week.
Following an investigation in a June robbery, police arrested a 17-year-old suspect at the Cook County Jail Aug. 29. Police said the juvenile, who was picked up by Chicago Police on an unrelated charge, was one of four juveniles who attacked a man June 6 in the 800 block of Erie around 10:30 p.m.
According to reports, the victim was approached by four males. They allegedly demanded the man's wallet and then struck him in the face and body with a closed fist. He dropped his iPhone, which was allegedly snatched as the offenders fled. Police recovered the phone in the 400 block of North Kenilworth.
Commander LaDon Reynolds said investigators had issued an informational bulletin to neighboring police agencies based on a tip. Oak Park police received a photo of the suspect, who was still in custody for a July 24 possession of controlled substance arrest.
"Police viewed a photo spread with the victim and positively identified the subject as the offender," Reynolds said. "Just because there's no immediate arrest does not mean that we are not undergoing an investigation. We often make an arrest later, based on a follow up."
In a second arrest, Aug. 27, police said a 17-year-old Oak Park male was approached while using his cell phone around 3:30 p.m. walking south on Scoville Avenue from North Boulevard. The offender allegedly grabbed the phone from the teen's hand and fled. He was taken into custody by Oak Park police in the 200 block of Linden.
Police charged Kevin L. McBride, 19, of the 9600 block of South Calumet in Chicago, with robbery. The incident occurred near the Green Line.
"In an urban environment, crime travels," Reynolds said. "There have been cell phone thefts all around the city for the last two years. We've stepped up our patrols and we have tried to get the word out to use caution in our newsletter and through our beat officers."
"[Cell phone thefts]," Reynolds added, "are crimes of opportunity in an urban environment. The truth is crime can be anywhere."