Victim and witnesses chase down mugger in the Loop

Vincent Zuniga was arrested when he allegedly fled into the Harold Washington College loading dock. | CPD; Google

A tenacious victim and several Good Samaritans teamed up to catch a would-be robber in the Loop, police say.

The 27-year-old victim, who lives in Wrigleyville, told police that she was outside of Macy’s near State and Randolph around 10 a.m. on April 5th when a man shoved her and wrestled away her purse. When the offender took off running, the woman gave chase along with up to a half-dozen witnesses, according to police records.

Police said the chase wound through the Loop streets and eventually reached Harold Washington College where surveillance cameras captured images of 28-year-old Vincent Zuniga ditching the woman’s purse in a planter at 202 North Wabash. Zuniga then ran through an alley and stormed through the college’s loading dock with the victim and witnesses in hot pursuit. Two security guards stationed inside the school’s rear entrance placed Zuniga into custody until police arrived.

Cops say Zuniga tried to convince them that he “gave back” the woman’s purse—an apparent reference to his decision to hide it in in a flowerpot.

One of the witnesses recovered the woman’s purse—containing $37, a phone, keys, and credit cards—from the planter and returned it to the victim, police said.

Prosecutors charged Zuniga with felony robbery. Judge Sophia Atcherson set his bail at $3,000 in the robbery case and ordered him held without bail in another pending theft case. Zuniga is due back in court on May 6th.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is