Oak Park police arrest two cell phone robbers

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By Jean Lotus

Forest Park Review Editor

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."

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Reader Comments

25 Comments - Add Your Comment

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Comment Policy

OP Transplant  

Posted: September 4th, 2013 9:57 AM

So, it's dangerous for kids to carry an IPhone, but we've publicly announced that every kid in our district will have and IPad in his/her backpack. We're not very smart here, are we?


Posted: September 3rd, 2013 8:40 PM

And on this subject of iphones - there is ipads and D97: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-cops-burglars-steal-laptops-tablets-from-elementary-school-20130901,0,4174507.story I'm sure that D97 has a GREAT plan to prevent our young children from being seen as lucrative/violent prey for their ipad!?!

You are ridiculous alright  

Posted: September 3rd, 2013 6:45 PM

@ Ridiculous..you're right. You're not so much ridiculous as you are dumb. I NEVER asserted that robberies would go down if we got rid of smart phones. I never suggested getting rid of iPhones. I have an iPhone! I do think the robberies of such iPhone would decrease if people stopped walking around with them in hand while looking down. The same could be said for texting and crossing the street. The usual phone victims are walking with them in hand (not even to their ear) and non observant.


Posted: September 3rd, 2013 2:44 PM

But Ridiculous, before the iPhone, 12-17 year old kids weren't riding or walking around with $600 in cash in their pockets! That's what these things are worth retail & it appears they are worth about $150 on the street. Hence much more availability for rip off artists to take advantage of & just kids ripping off other kids.

Genghis Khan from Oak Park, Mongolia  

Posted: September 3rd, 2013 1:13 PM

Throw them in the Iron Maiden! EXCELLENT!!!!

Ridiculous Oak Park  

Posted: September 1st, 2013 3:35 PM

money long before Iphones came along, which means Iphone are merely another item worth stealing. You think robberies would go down if we got rid of everyone's smart phones? LOL, how foolish. If I were calling myself "ridiculous", the name would be "ridiculous Oak Parker", not "ridiculous Oak Park". The difference is unsubtle, but it's obviously needs explaining to you. Awareness goes a long way, but we have a thug problem, not a phone problem.

Ridiculous Oak Park  

Posted: September 1st, 2013 3:28 PM

You are ridiculous, I can see you don't quite get this, but my "name" is aimed so many ridiculous Oak Parkers I seem to come across, people like you... "Riddle me this" (in a sarcastic voice), where is all the cash when people get robbed? Oh, that's right, in the wallets in pockets. I guess you missed all those article where people were stopped by thugs to have their pockets checked, so it's not just people mindlessly waving around their Iphones. People here were getting robbed for their cont...

LOL! from Oak Park  

Posted: September 1st, 2013 10:48 AM

Here goes Ridiculous again, spewing fecal thoughts on the message board. Every time an article about crime is posted he's sure to be there talking sh*t. If you have such a big problem with allllllllllllllll this crime in Oak Park, maybe you should pack up and ship out or do something besides tickle a keyboard

You are ridiculous alright  

Posted: August 31st, 2013 8:26 PM

Somebody hasn't paid attention to the OPPD's chorus about "crimes of opportunity." Sorry kid, I grew up in the hood. I don't go anywhere, no matter how tree lined and beautiful, without looking around me. I don't have a problem with people having money...I have a problem with someone trying to take my money from me. Me no like that. Please understand this...thieves go to the money. You act as if you can eliminate "thugs"...you can't even stop people from stealing pens from work.


Posted: August 31st, 2013 8:16 PM

A key reason there is not a similar spike in the theft of luxury cars as in cell phones is that stealing a cell phone is far easier and less serious criminally. And the thugs preying on folk in OP steal the phones from people's hands, purses, pockets, off restaurant tables and park benches.People ned to realize that, if they're outside on the street, they're being sized-up and targeted more often than not.

You are ridiculous alright  

Posted: August 31st, 2013 8:00 PM

..or in their hands? Cars are much more expensive than iPhones so where's the spike in luxury vehicles being stolen and motorists in Oak Park being carjacked. iPhones are easy to snatch because people walk around not looking at the people who are going to snatch their phone but looking at the phone, they are expensive, easy to conceal, easy to sell...what thief would not want to steal an iPhone right now. You can steal one on any major street, high school class/hall, rich/poor hood in the US.

You are ridiculous alright  

Posted: August 31st, 2013 7:54 PM

@ Q, OPPD says be aware of your surroundings in like every publication they put out, every newsletter, and every beat meeting. People want to hear something new and exciting but they continue to leave their doors unlocked and some intentionally. @ Ridiculous, according to your username you actually are the one that is ridiculous. (whiny voice) "The problem is thugs"... riddle me this, the majority of iPhones you are aware of that have been stolen off of people...were they in their pockets..

You are ridiculous alright  

Posted: August 31st, 2013 7:45 PM

@ Paddy Boy, oakparkbob's question has been raised several times on here (maybe by him) and others have commented that phone companies would lose money because the victims often buy a new phone if they cannot recover the stolen one.

Paddy Boy  

Posted: August 31st, 2013 2:36 PM

Oakparkbob deserves a pint on the house for asking the question of the day. Why don't they have a way to shut down or "kill" your phone when it is missing or stolen. After all if you can turn your car on from inside the house and let your kids in the house from work or blow up a Syrian goat from Washington DC you should be able to shut down a phone. (Violet I'm just kidding about the goat ... no need to get excited.)


Posted: August 31st, 2013 6:19 AM

Why don't the cell phone makers include a feature on the phone that if a cell phone is stolen they can be locked by the provider & therefore be of no use in the black market? This would make them worthless and eliminate the reason for stealing them that exists now.

Ridiculous Oak Park  

Posted: August 31st, 2013 1:34 AM

L.S., you're right, not "every single person" committing a crime in Oak Park is from across the boarder, but the vast majority of violent crimes are. I think you're trying to call B.S. on an absolute, which is correct, but it would be foolish to not acknowledge the major violent patterns that have been occurring.

L.S. from Forest Park  

Posted: August 30th, 2013 11:08 PM

Having lived and worked in communities throughout Chicago and the suburbs, I was taught to be street smart.. I walk down the middle of the street at night, do not wear expensive jewelry, and do not talk on my phone. People want drug money. Kids who come in from affluent suburbs push drugs in O.P. to affluent kids who buy them. Yes, there are going to be some crimes. Please do not just blame kids coming in from low income neighborhoods. We must all take responsibility for our children's behavior

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: August 30th, 2013 10:58 PM

"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." What were Police Officers doing before, not patrolling. Of course they Patrol and they do a very good job at it. Newspapers can also help the Police spread the word to citizens, but the most important thing to spread to citizens is how to pay attention to their surroundings.

Ridiculous Oak Park  

Posted: August 30th, 2013 10:23 PM

You are ridiculous aright, YOU are the one that is ridiculous. There will ALWAYS be something. Today it's I phones, tomorrow it's something else. Thugs have been robbing people of their money in Oak Park as long as there have been thugs... With your, and Chris's rational, we then have a problem with people having money. Thugs also steal lots of bikes in Oak Park, yet bikes have been around forever. Please understand this, the I Phone is only a symptom of the problem, which is THUGS.

You are ridiculous alright  

Posted: August 30th, 2013 9:57 PM

...that whole running and hiding from the police thing is kind of indicative of knowing you did wrong. And how does one impart compassion into another person? What you're talking about is mind control or hypnosis and I would play right along with that game just to be released from prison..and get right back to where I left off. Stop believing that if people just knew...know some people just don't care and some don't want to know and they will curse you out if you try to tell them.

You are ridiculous alright  

Posted: August 30th, 2013 9:53 PM

Chris made a valid point. What other item has been in an abundance on every US street, has the same price, and is as easily stolen from another person as an iPhone? People are getting robbed of iPhones all over. It's not an Oak Park phenomenon bonehead. They are too easy to steal and too easy to cash in on. @ Mel Rose, the county barely has money for inmates to wipe themselves. If they can't pay for their own etiquette classes they're in trouble. You assume offenders don't know right from wrong.

Ridiculous Oak Park  

Posted: August 30th, 2013 8:13 PM

Chris, maybe we should stop people from having things, and money, then there'll be nothing left to still. Of course, the thugs may then have to find another hobby, like assaulting people... Oh, wait, they already do that. The credo of Oak Park is: "Damn those Oak Parkers with their things, making the poor thugs assault them for it". "It's all their fault for having things".

Chris Carrier  

Posted: August 30th, 2013 6:22 PM

That teenagers (and anyone) commonly walk around with $600 devices in the open has to be unprecedented except for the last few years. What can be done about it? It's like "flashing cash" back in the day.

Mel Rose from Oak park  

Posted: August 30th, 2013 6:19 PM

I would love to have the local paper do a story on what happens to those who commit these crimes after they are caught...when violence is involved are they required to take classes for instance that would help them turn their lives away from violence? I mean when I read about the aggressive nature of many of these crimes, I hope once caught a solid attempt is made to teach right from wrong and impart a sense of compassion for others.

I'm waiting...  

Posted: August 30th, 2013 6:05 PM

..for all the complaining, what the "OPPD" aren't doing people to come on and tell us how they could have done police work much better than the real police. Great job OP boys and girls!

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