Loop cell phone theft caught on camera

An ABC7 Eyewitness News Exclusive
Cell phone thieves operating in Chicago's Loop were caught on surveillance camera, and the video could help you avoid becoming a victim.

In the video, the cell phone is clearly visible on top of the table, but it won't be there long. While its owner eats, two young men walk into the Popeye's/Gold Coast Dogs restaurant in the 100-block of North Wabash. Instead of ordering food, they walk to the dining area, pull flyers from underneath their shirts and approach the customer.

Looking closely it's clear: they walk up, cover the phone with papers, take a few moments to talk to the man eating and then the phone is gone.

Customers are disgusted.

"It's despicable," says George Victory.

"I think it's kind of sad that this is our new normal, that we have to be extra, extra, extra cautious with our belongings," says Bridgette Gilbert.

"To prey on people who are trying to enjoy a hot dog is crazy," Victory says.

The restaurant's manager says he fine-tuned the surveillance cameras here after police alerted the community in June about similar cell phone thefts at restaurants up and down Wabash, and even from drivers.

"It's depressing, it's sad to see these kids out here doing that type of stuff," says Diandre Hines.

The manager of the store has been in contact with and working closely with police, but he is hoping the victim in the video will come forward. Management does not know his identity.
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