Prosecutors have filed 21 felony charges against the operator of a financial crime enterprise that was fueled by reselling colognes and cosmetics stolen in brazen shoplifting raids on Ulta Beauty stores across the city, according to a source and CPD press statement.
But less than 9 hours after police announced the major arrest, another shoplifting crew raided Ulta’s location near the North-Clybourn corridor, suggesting there is much more work for investigators to do.
The teen was arrested Thursday after a long-term investigation by Chicago police, according to CPD’s statement. Detectives linked the boy to ten raids on Ulta stores across the city between August 27 and October 24. The department did not mention Ulta by name.
He and his crew raided Ulta stores from Lakeview to Lincoln Park to the Magnificent Mile to Archer Heights, according to CPD’s list of incidents. He then sold the stolen products, primarily fragrances, at discount prices.
During the height of the boy’s activities in September, an Ulta shopper captured video of a theft crew loading garbage bags with merchandise at an Ulta store in Norridge.
Prosecutors charged the boy with felony operation of a continuing financial crimes enterprise, ten counts of felony burglary, and ten counts of retail theft. No further information about him or his background is available because he is a juvenile.
Around 7:40 Friday evening, a three-woman shoplifting team stole bags of merchandise from the Ulta at 1000 West North Avenue in Lincoln Park, according to a CPD report. Like many Ulta locations, the store has been hit repeatedly over the past two years.
Last Saturday, a man and three women stole more than $5,000 worth of fragrances from the Ulta store at 2754 North Clybourn. That store has also been a popular target.
Earlier this week, prosecutors said an 18-year-old man and an accomplice raided North Face and Sephora stores, then sold the stolen merchandise on a table inside a Subway restaurant in Auburn Gresham.
Semaj Bryant and his unnamed accomplice were arrested when they walked into the restaurant with a bag of freshly-stolen merchandise as Chicago police detectives were in the store retrieving video footage of their previous sales efforts, Assistant State’s Attorney Loukas Kalliantasis said.
The arrest of Bryant is not the end of The North Face store’s problems, either. Hours before he appeared in bond court Wednesday, two men broke into the retailer’s Wicker Park location and made off with armloads of coats around 3:53 a.m., according to police and witnesses.