Phone thief targets restaurant diners in Lakeview, Lincoln Park

Police are warning about a scammer who is stealing phones from restaurant patrons in Lakeview East and nearby Lincoln Park.

The offender strikes up conversations with diners who have a phone on their table. He’ll casually place a menu over the phone, then casually take the device away with the menu and leave the restaurant.

Cops have connected at least three cases to the man: on the 2500 block of North Clark at 7:10 p.m. June 20th; and on July 20th in the 2900 block of North Sheffield at 3:45 p.m. and the 3100 block of North Broadway at 4:30 p.m.

A witness described the Sheffield offender as a black man who wore white Adidas-brand pants with brown Timberland boots. He was last seen heading north on Sheffield after the theft.

Police typically issue alerts when they believe an individual is responsible for a series of crimes. The CPD alert encourages people to keep their property secured and out of sight.

Anyone with information about the thefts may contact Area North detectives at 312-744-8263 regarding pattern #P19-N-194.

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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