Three people each face a single misdemeanor charge after police allegedly found a “large amount of cellphones” on the floor of their car near Montrose Harbor on Saturday morning.
Kayla Ferreira-Leita, 34, of Pilsen, Jairo Guanume-Ruiz, 33, of Berwyn, and Anderson Beltran, 28, are each charged with one count of theft of lost or mislaid property. Beltran, who allegedly carried a Colombian driver’s license and refused to identify himself to police, is also charged with operating an uninsured motor vehicle and driving without a license. They were all released from the police station on recognizance bonds, according to CPD records.
Police went to the 300 block of West Montrose Harbor drive around 6:45 a.m. Saturday after someone reported seeing people drinking in a car, according to dispatch records.
Officers who approached the vehicle, a gray Mazda, saw its floor littered with cellphones, a police spokesperson said. According to court records, police found 64 phones in the car. Many of the devices had their SIM cards removed and taped to their exteriors, CPD inventory reports showed.
A CPD spokesperson said the investigation into the recovered phones is ongoing, and police don’t yet know who owns the devices.
Social media chatter over the weekend was full of stories about people having phones stolen in Boystown bars and at the two-day “Pride in the Park” festival in Grant Park. One of the phones that police recovered was reported stolen less than three hours earlier at Charlie’s, a late-night bar in Boystown, according to a CPD report.
Technically, none of the accused persons is charged with stealing anything. Rather, the state is alleging that they had possession of stolen property and did not try to return it to its rightful owner.
Ferreira-Leita has been arrested twice for shoplifting in Cook County since March 2019. In the first case, she was charged with stealing $400 worth of merchandise from Whole Foods at 3201 North Ashland in Lakeview, records show. Police said she told them she took the food because she recently lost her job. The case was dropped when Whole Foods failed to show up in court.
In November 2019, she was accused of resisting arrest and stealing $400 worth of clothing from Kohl’s in suburban Hodgkins, according to court records. She eventually pleaded guilty to reckless conduct and received a sentence of four months probation.
CWBChicago could not find any Cook County criminal court records under the two men’s names.