A man who offered a pair of snappy shoes for sale on Facebook marketplace made a smart decision. Just to be sure that there’d be no monkey business, he insisted that the prospective buyer meet him outside Chicago Police Department headquarters to complete the deal.
The buyer agreed. And they robbed him at gunpoint anyway.
On Tuesday, prosecutors charged Devonta Burchett, 22, with Class X armed robbery in connection with the July 15 hold-up outside Chicago Public Safety Headquarters, 3510 South Michigan. Three alleged accomplices remain at large.
Burchett, who was on probation for a felony gun case at the time, contacted the victim via Facebook and agreed to meet him outside CPD headquarters around 9 p.m. that night to close the deal, Assistant State’s Attorney John Gnilka said.
The victim and Burchett met and talked outside their cars for a short time. Then, Burchett invited the victim to step back to his car so his “brother” could try the shoes on, Gnilka said. As the victim stood outside the passenger door, the car’s windows rolled down, and he saw three more men inside the vehicle. Unlike Burchett, they were all wearing ski masks, according to Gnilka.
Did we mention this was on July 15?
Anyway, the man in the front passenger seat — the “brother,” supposedly — asked to try on the shoes and began counting money before he allegedly tried to grab the shoebox from the victim’s hands. That’s when another car window rolled down, and one of the back seat passengers pointed a gun at the victim and ordered him to drop the shoe box and empty his pockets, Gnilka said.
After collecting the shoes, Burchett drove away with his masked colleagues, according to Gnilka.
As you may have guessed, the entire robbery was recorded by CPD surveillance cameras.
Burchett’s face is the profile picture on the Facebook account that contacted the victim about the shoes, Gnilka said. Investigators also allegedly confirmed that Burchett owns a car identical to the one the robbers used. Cops arrested him Monday.
“If there’s an intention to rob someone, [police headquarters] seems like the last place you would want to do that,” Assistant Public Defender Suzin Farber told Judge Mary Marubio while arguing against a state request to have Burchett held without bail.
“In addition to being on probation,” Marubio countered, “there’s also this brazen circumstance that this takes place at 35th and Michigan at police headquarters.”
The judge agreed to hold Burchett without bail on the robbery charge. She also held him without bail for violating the terms of probation in his gun case.
He’s due back in court on November 17.