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Victims forced to give up Canada Goose coats in spate of armed robberies

A trendy -- and expensive -- winter fashion is becoming the target of armed robbers in Chicago: Canada Goose coats.

At least six times in eight days, offenders have confronted victims and forced them to turn over their jackets, CBS Chicago reported. Police said that in each case, the victims were robbed at gunpoint.

Canada Goose coats sell for about $500 to $1,200 on the company's website. They're a hot item during the frigid winter months.  

"It keeps me extremely warm," said Ariel Soldatov, who owns a Canada Goose coat. "I don't have to bundle up as much and the hood tunnels me in completely with fur."

On Wednesday, a man was confronted in Chicago by two men with guns, who demanded the victim's jacket. The offenders, described as two black men in their early to mid-20s, fled in a light-colored sedan.

A second robbery Wednesday was captured on surveillance video, showing two suspects attacking a victim. After a brief struggle, they pulled his jacket off and got into a white Mercedes.

Two more robberies took place on January 17. On January 15, armed robbers targeted victims. In those cases, the suspects, two black males in dark hooded jackets, jeans and ski masks, drove up in a dark Audi sedan and demanded the coats.

There have been no arrests in the robberies, which have some people who own the coats in Chicago thinking twice about wearing them.

"I actually was just shopping, and I was looking for a coat that was a little less expensive just in case something like that was going to happen," said Terry Kraus. "It's disappointing that I saved up a lot of money to get this coat, and now I'm not even able to enjoy it."

Howard o'Toole, who owns a Canada Goose coat, described it as "a really functional, high-quality jacket."

"I guess you take your chance don't you?" he said. "You've spent the money on an expensive jacket. I guess you're nervous you're going to be a target."

O'Toole removed the patch from his coat because he didn't like the idea of giving Canada Goose free advertising, but now he says there's an added benefit of making him less of a target for criminals.

He thinks others should consider removing the patch, too.

"Why not? I mean you're still left with a good jacket," he said.

But the patch and logo, so easily recognized as Canada Goose, are part of what attracts some people to the products.

"Hell no, I paid too much for it to remove that," Kraus said.

But Kraus is taking other precautions: "Keeping aware of my surroundings and also just kind of staying in well trafficked areas," he said.

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