Robbers target cellphone stores, pepper spray employees

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Three cellphone stores on the city's Southwest Side have been robbed within a few days, and in all cases the thieves deployed pepper spray on store employees.

Police are looking for two men, one of whom was disguised as a woman in a black wig, who have robbed three Boost Mobile stores.

Surveillance video shows one of the people wanted in connection three robberies at Boost Mobile stores on Chicago's Southwest Side, as well as the their getaway vehicle.

Boost Mobile

Surveillance video from the most recent robbery, which occurred Saturday afternoon in the 6600-block of South Cicero Avenue. The first one took place Thursday afternoon in the 5100-block of South Kedzie.

Store clerk Yessica Valencia was the only one at the store when the robbery happened.

"He walked in as if he were a regular customer," Valencia said. "He told me he wanted to buy two phones and told me what else he wanted. Once I took down his information, I was going to charge him. I picked up the first phone, he came behind the computer, took out the bottle and sprayed my face with mace."

Valencia was momentarily blinded by the spray but not seriously injured. Police believe they also have a photo of the getaway vehicle, and that it was being driven by a second man.

"I couldn't see anything," Valencia said. "He grabbed the phone that was in my hand and then he went under the counter and grabbed the other one too."

In a community alert issued Sunday, police said the second robbery took place about eight hours after the first in the 6400-block of South Pulaski. In this case, employees said two offenders took went into the store.

"They were acting silly," said clerk Erika Guerrero. "My coworker was showing them some cases and out of nowhere one of the guys just walked in here ... they pepper-sprayed her, they took the money and they ran out."
Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.