On August 25th at 9:000am, Sally Lewis was entering a building at Grand and Michigan when she was grabbed from behind by an unknown offender. This offender then grabbed her purse and knocked her to the ground causing her to hit her head on the sidewalk. The offender then fled the scene with the victim’s purse. A CFD Ambulance transported the victim to Northwestern Hospital for treatment.
The assigned detectives interviewed the victim at the hospital where it was learned that Ms. Lewis did not get a good look at the offender. The detectives immediately began to scour the scene for witnesses and collect surveillance video from the immediate area of the robbery. After reviewing scores of surveillance video, detectives were able to locate seven different cameras that provided images that were deemed to be of evidentiary value. A video was recovered that showed the robbery. In viewing this video, it was determined that there was a second offender involved. A CPD Camera Pod captured the offenders walking down the street approximately an hour after the robbery.
CTA security was also contacted and given photos of the possible suspects to ascertain if the offenders had used the El to get downtown. This effort proved fruitful when the offenders were seen at the Grand Avenue Red Line, jumping over the turnstile, and then getting on a southbound El an hour and a half after the robbery. Further video revealed that the offenders exited the train at the 63rd Street exit.
The detectives tried facial recognition programs to try and get the suspects identified, and, immediately put out a bulletin with still photos of the suspects to 018th District personnel and CTA.
Three days later, POs Jerome Turbyville and Roberto Paz placed one offender under arrest for a violation of CTA Rules (he was sleeping on CTA property). Since the offender did not have any identification, he was not eligible for an issuance of a ticket so a physical arrest was mandated. After being placed under arrest, the officers noticed that he bore a striking resemblance to one of the photos that the detectives had distributed of one the wanted offenders in this robbery. The officers showed this photo to the offender and he readily admitted that he was the individual in that photo. The officers contacted the detectives and the detectives subsequently went to his residence with consent to search and recovered a hat and gym shoes that he was wearing at the time of the robbery.
This offender who was on parole for PCS at the time of this incident was subsequently charged with Aggravated Battery of a Senior Citizen and Robbery. He is presently in custody awaiting trial. The search for the additional offender continues.
Thanks to the excellent follow-up by the Area 3 Detectives and the alert actions of the 018 District officers, a dangerous felon who preyed on a senior citizen is behind bars. We are proud to make these 5 officers our October Officers of the Month.