Shoplifting mobs have been grabbing all of the headlines lately with their bold raids on stores along the Magnificent Mile. But a low-profile, solo conman scored one of the biggest thefts of the year Wednesday when he walked out of the Apple store with an estimated $70,000 in merchandise.
A source said the thief, posing as a FedEx driver, knocked on the store’s service door on Lower Michigan Avenue, and an employee gave him a cartload of outgoing packages. All totaled, about $70,000 worth of iPhones, MacBooks, iPads, and other products were taken, according to a report.
Officer Alex Aguas, a CPD spokesperson, confirmed that an employee of a business on the 400 block of North Michigan allowed a man posing as a delivery driver to enter the back area of a store around 11 a.m. Wednesday. The offender “took miscellaneous property from within” and exited the building, said Aguas, who did not identify the business by name.
Area Three detectives are investigating the heist, Aguas said.
This is not the first time someone has posed as a delivery service courier to steal electronics from a store downtown.
In fact, a former FedEx driver was accused last year of taking $107,738 worth of phones from Verizon stores throughout the Loop during an ongoing scheme.
Prosecutors said Romell Funches, 36, kept uniform parts after he left the company and then wore the clothing to pick up deliveries from Verizon stores on at least 18 occasions between October 2019 and January 2020. According to the allegations, he was even wearing a FedEx uniform jacket, FedEx uniform pants, and a FedEx baseball hat when cops arrested him in a sting operation.
Meanwhile, a three-person shoplifting team struck a store across the street from the Apple store on Thursday evening.
Two women and a man entered Ulta, 430 North Michigan, around 8:49 p.m. and filled bags with products from the fragrance section, police said. The trio then ran out the door. Police described them only as being between 25- and 30-years-old.