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Among Numerous Recent Retail Thefts On And Around Magnificent Mile, Only 2 People Have Been Arrested

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Police said a 16-year-old girl robbed the Niketown on Michigan Avenue this week, and used a stun gun on a security guard.

This was just one of the recent retail thefts we've tracked here at CBS 2 as the crimes continue to spike, ravaging the city's Magnificent Mile. Molina has been reporting on the issues with crime on the Mag Mile for months, and now she has learned how many people have actually been arrested in connection with them.

The number is low.

Of 10 recent thefts - some of them violent - that we've tracked in the city's prime shopping districts, there have only been two people arrested. Both of them were minors, and because of that, they are only represented with generic silhouettes rather than mug shots in police news releases about charges.

Mag Mile Theft Releases
(Credit: CBS 2)

Those silhouettes are all we have when it comes to the two arrests in a staggering number of brazen thefts on the Mag Mile.

One of the minors was a 16-year-old boy who was arrested earlier this month when a group of nine robbed the Neiman Marcus at 737 N. Michigan Ave. In that incident at 11:50 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 2, the group entered the store and took merchandise before fleeing in three vehicles – and the teen suspect was placed into custody at the scene.

The other was the 16-year-old girl who was arrested Wednesday after hitting the Mag Mile Zara, 700 N. Michigan Ave., and Niketown, 669 N. Michigan Ave. - where police say she used a stun gun on a Nike security guard.

The others who robbed stores with them are still out there.

This was something we learned after analyzing 10 crimes we've tracked here at CBS 2 to show you exactly what this issue looks like in Chicago. The map shows retail thefts on and around the Mag Mile in just the past month - all but one of the 10 aforementioned crimes.

Recent Retail Thefts Map
(Credit: CBS 2)

Among the most recent incident was the $2 million theft of high-end watches at the Perillo dealership, 834 N. Rush St., in broad daylight in an open store with armed guards.

"Enough is enough," dealership owner Joe Perillo said this past Saturday.

The dealership is keeping the doors locked now.

There was also an attempted break-in at the Canada Goose store at 800 N. Michigan Ave. Monday, involving a cinder block thrown through the glass.

The North Face store at the former John Hancock Center, 875 N. Michigan Ave., was hit on Thursday, Dec. 9.

On Monday, Nov. 29, four masked men ran through the front door of the Burberry store at 633 N. Michigan Ave. They grabbed handbags worth tens of thousands of dollars, and Chicago Police told us they also shoved a 23-year-old woman and hit a 66-year-old man standing at the door.

One theft and one attempted theft also happened at stores in the 800 block of North Michigan Avenue. Police would not specify which stores were involved, but they did say in one incident at 4:29 a.m. Thanksgiving Day, some thieves broke a window and took merchandise and sped off in a sport-utility vehicle. In another incident at 4:29 a.m. the following Sunday, some would-be thieves tried to break into a store on the same block, but drove off in a white sedan after they couldn't get in.

There was also a smash-and-grab theft at 4:35 a.m. Monday, Nov. 15, in the 1800 block of North Clybourn Avenue along the fashionable Clybourn Corridor. In that incident, the suspects succeeded in breaking a window and taking merchandise. This is the only crime in our analysis that does not appear on the map above, as it is some distance away from the others.

When Molina sent the full list of retail theft incidents to Chicago Police, they said no other offenders are in custody besides the two teens, and detectives are investigating.

"We've got to have some consequence for these actions," said Rob Karr, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association. "They're blowing past armed security guards. They have no regard for cameras. They don't care if it's behind a counter or a glass case or chained to something."

And this is all creating what Karr calls a changing culture in the local retail industry. They are now working directly with CPD and the States Attorney's office - calling for accountability and more arrests.

"There's a culture of fear; an atmosphere of fear, I think, that kind of permeates certain areas of the city of Chicago and retail corridors. I think that's unfortunate," Karr said, "We're hoping it doesn't, but it might damper some of the brick-and-mortar aspects of the season."

We heard from Illinois Organized Retail Crime Task Force exactly two weeks ago, led by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul. The task force said there would be a more concentrated police presence in areas like the Mag Mile.

Some tell us they've noticed that police presence, but others say it hasn't happened.

The Cook County State's Attorney's office released data Thursday for specific crimes this year to date in the ZIP code 60611, which includes the Mag Mile and also Streeterville:

Adult Felony Retail Theft
Between 1/1/2021 and 12/17/2021 (349 days), the CCSAO reviewed and made a charging decision for 49 retail theft cases in ZIP Code 60611. 25 cases were approved at a 51% approval rate. 19 cases were prosecuted and 8 convicted at a 42% conviction rate.

Adult Gun
Between 1/1/2021 and 12/17/2021 (349 days), the CCSAO reviewed and made a charging decision for 101 gun cases in ZIP Code 60611. 88 cases were approved at an 87% approval rate. 39 case(s) were prosecuted and 32 convicted at an 82% conviction rate.

Juvenile Gun
Between 1/1/2021 and 12/17/2021 (349 days), the CCSAO reviewed and made a filing decision for 6 gun cases in ZIP Code 60611. 6 cases were filed at a 100% filing rate. 1 cases were disposed and 0 adjudicated.

Juvenile Retail Theft
Between 1/1/2021 and 12/17/2021 (349 days), the CCSAO reviewed and made a filing decision for 2 retail theft cases in this area. 0 cases were filed. 1 cases were disposed and 0 adjudicated.

The State's Attorney's office also released a table of the top felony cases its prosecutors reviewed and prosecuted in the 60611 ZIP code. The State's Attorney's office emphasized that most cases are for violent offenses, "further reiterating the CCSAO's commitment to prosecute violent crime."



Top Reviewed and Prosecuted Adult Felony Cases in Zip Code 60611: January 1, 2021 - 12/17/21
Top 10 Reviewed Category Reviewed Cases Approval Rate
UUW - Unlawful Use of a Weapon 97 88%
Retail Theft 49 51%
Burglary 9 100%
Agg Batt Police Officer 6 100%
Sex Crimes 6 83%
Aggravated Battery 5 80%
Criminal Damage to Property 5 80%
Homicide 5 100%
Theft 4 25%
Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle 3 100%
Top 10 Prosecuted Category Reviewed Cases Approval Rate
Unlawful Use of a Weapon 35 80%
Burglary 32 94%
Retail Theft 19 42%
Narcotics 14 43%
Identity Theft 10 80%
theft 9 78%
Possession of Stolen Motor Vehicle 7 71%
Aggravated Battery 6 67%
Aggravated DUI 4 50%
Armed Robbery 4 100%
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