Keys from Atlanta TV crew's rental car stolen outside R. Kelly's studio

Jessica D'Onofrio Image
Monday, February 11, 2019
Atlanta TV crew says rental car keys taken outside R. Kelly's studio
An Atlanta TV news crew says they keys to their rental car were taken outside R. Kelly's studio Sunday night.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Police were called to R. Kelly's studio in the West Loop after the keys to a rental car belonging to an Atlanta TV news crew were stolen Sunday night.

Just before midnight, Chicago police responded to a theft in the 200-block of North Justine Avenue. A news crew from CBS' Atlanta affiliate left their rental car running to cover activity outside the musician's studio in the West Loop and told police it took less than a minute for someone to steal the key fob.

RELATED: See inside R. Kelly's West Loop studio

City inspectors say singer R. Kelly has not complied with their order to clear what appear to be bedrooms in his near West Side studio space.

Police said they were told someone got out of a black SUV, went into the news crew's rented 2018 Chevy Malibu and took the keys from the center console. The suspect then got into the SUV and took off southbound on Justine Avenue, according to police.

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The investigative crew from the CBS affiliate in Atlanta said they got out to confront who they believed to be R. Kelly getting whisked out of the studio just before midnight, and that's when they claim someone stole their key fob.

"It's absurd," said R. Kelly's attorney Steve Greenberg. "These guys are out there and they think someone stole their key fob. They probably just lost it themselves and are looking for a cover story, but they think someone stole their key fob. How does that have anything to do with Mr. Kelly?"

R. Kelly's attorney believes the news crew is making up the story to make his client look bad. The musician and Chicago native's life has been under the microscope as he fights allegations of sexual abuse by multiple women.

His recording studio warehouse is also making headlines regarding whether it was being used illegally as a living space. A Chicago housing judge barred anyone from using it overnight, setting a curfew for all people to be out by 9 p.m., which means R. Kelly could be in violation.

"Unless they were invited inside, I don't know how they would know that," Greenberg. "If anyone goes there, you can't see inside and you can't tell who if anyone is there. I can tell you that he has every intention of complying with the court's orders that are in place."

So far, no arrests have been made in the case of the stolen keys.