CHICAGO (WLS) -- A diner had their wallet stolen while eating at Labriola Restaurant on Michigan Avenue Wednesday evening, Chicago police confirmed.
The Chicago Police Department said that at about 7:10 p.m., a 52-year-old man was inside the restaurant when the thief approached his table and took his wallet and cell phone, which was lying on the table.
Police said the thief then fled the restaurant.
Onlookers and the victim said it looked like a well-orchestrated plot.
"I sat very far, the farthest end, of the restaurant and three gentlemen came in," said victim Jim Soenke.
"They walked toward the back of the restaurant like maybe they were looking for somebody," said witness Tracie Lievense.
Soenke said he had his phone, which held credit cards in its case, placed on the crowded table in front of him when the trio surrounded them.
"It appeared that they were asking for money and the entire table of 10 people all say up in arms and said, 'What are you doing? What do you want?'" he said. "We started to get up and one gentleman had a takeout bag. Apparently he put the bag over my phone on the table and it slid out."
"All of a sudden we see them dart out of the restaurant and this guy starts running out of the restaurant saying, 'He took my cell phone off the table with my credit cards,'" Lievense said.
But it was too late. By the time he got outside, Soenke said the guys had jumped into a car waiting below on Grand Avenue. They tried to use his cards at a nearby store within minutes.
"My phone had a credit card holder, my ID. My whole life is in my phone," he said.
The Chicago native, who now lives in South Carolina, is left with a bad taste of his home city and a complicated trip back.
"It is highly disappointing to me that this is my home town and this type of stuff happens," Soenke said.
No injuries were reported and no one is currently in custody. Police have not said whether there is any surveillance video of the incident, or released any information about possible suspects.
An investigation by Area Three detectives is ongoing.