Nordstrom purse theft suspects arrested after River North crash

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Two suspects are in custody after allegedly stealing designer purses from a department store, then crashing their vehicle a few blocks away in Chicago's River North neighborhood.

The theft occurred on the 2nd floor of Nordstrom at 55 E. Grand Avenue around 10 a.m. Monday. Police said two people grabbed several high-end purses, then took off. They were chased by officers who happened to be nearby.

A Nordstrom spokesperson said the store remained open after the theft. Ray Houghton saw the incident as he was shopping on the 2nd floor and said there was never any commotion.

"It looked like it was female purses and I saw a little bit of article of clothing," Houghton said. "They just ran through the store, came down the escalator with stolen goods and they went right after them."

Investigators said the offenders drove off with the purses, leaving the Nordstrom and heading west on Grand. They crashed their Jeep into an Infiniti SUV parked outside of the post office on Dearborn.

Bernard, a postal worker who was on his route delivering mail, said his friends called to tell him his car was smashed.

"I'm a Christian person so I don't worry about the things I can't control. Thank God I wasn't in it," he said.

After the collision, the Jeep came to a stop in front of the post office. Witnesses said the suspects jumped out and ran off, leaving some purses in the car. But they were quickly apprehended.

The total cost of the stolen handbags isn't known, and police aren't sure if all of them have been recovered. Nordstrom said it is working with investigators.

No charges have been filed against the two suspects.
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