Shooting near Mag Mile is likely linked to shoplifting mobs: police sources

A shooting that left a man in critical condition near the Magnificent Mile on Friday evening may have direct links to the area’s ongoing problem with shoplifting mobs, according to law enforcement sources.

CWBChicago has learned that the shots that critically injured a man one block from Michigan Avenue on Friday evening were fired from a car that police linked to a shoplifting incident at Saks Fifth Avenue about 20 minutes earlier. A 17-year-old boy arrested during the Saks incident was found to be carrying a handgun.

Here’s what we have learned:

Officers assigned to maintain a high-profile police presence on the Mag Mile reported seeing three men jump into white Acura TLX that sped away from Saks Fifth Avenue, 700 North Michigan, around 6:24 p.m. Friday — just as store employees were calling 911 about a person who was being detained for shoplifting.

A CPD spokesperson confirmed this morning that the 17-year-old detained for shoplifting by Saks Fifth Avenue security was carrying a handgun. He has been “charged accordingly,” the spokesperson said. No further information is available about the teen because he is a juvenile.

Around the same time, about ten men exited a group of vehicles to enter the Superior Street entrance to Neiman Marcus, 737 North Michigan. That’s the same approach that a large group of shoplifters used during a big-buck raid on the store’s display of luxury Fendi products Thursday.

The Neiman group disbanded without incident.

Then, at 6:50 p.m., a 31-year-old man was in a car near the corner of Huron and Wabash when a vehicle, identified by a source as the white Acura that cops saw speed away from Saks minutes earlier, rolled up next to him, according to a CPD statement. A gunman opened fire from within the Acura, striking the man in his legs and back, according to police.

Officers who reviewed surveillance footage from the shooting scene confirmed that the Acura used by the gunman had the same license plate number as the vehicle that fled from Saks.

It was last seen heading west on Huron. Meanwhile, the victim was driven to Stroger Hospital by another occupant of the car. Police said he is in critical condition.

Area Three detectives are investigating the shooting.

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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 news@cwbchicago.com