Prosecutors on Monday charged a Chicago man with participating in flash mob robberies of the Prada Store on Oak Street in January and Louis Vuitton in Northbrook last year. But there is much, much more to this man’s story.
He has four juvenile felony convictions and is on parole for one of them, an armed robbery. He was charged with felony gun possession and driving a stolen car last month, then got out on bail. Prosecutors say he stole another car Saturday — then got shot a little while later.
It’s the second time he’s been shot since autumn.
He’s 19 and has a 3-year-old.
Tony Simmons’ juvenile record includes adjudications of delinquency for aggravated battery and aggravated possession of a stolen motor vehicle in 2019 and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and armed robbery in 2020, prosecutors said Monday. He’ll be on parole for the robbery until next July.
On May 3, he was charged in adult court with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated possession of a stolen motor vehicle, both felonies.
During a bond hearing last month, prosecutors said police found him sleeping inside a Dodge Charger on a McDonald’s parking lot after business hours. The license plate on the Charger was stolen from an Infiniti and the Charger was itself stolen, according to the allegations.
When cops looked inside the car, they saw a loaded handgun with an extended magazine wedged between the driver’s door and driver’s seatbelt buckle next to Simmons, prosecutors said.
Officers broke into the car, secured the gun, and arrested Simmons, who was allegedly carrying $5,000 cash. In the car’s back seat, police found 15 automobile key fobs, according to prosecutors.
Simmons decided to talk openly during the bail hearing.
“I just got shot in the face,” he told Judge Mary Marubio. “The only reason I’m doing that is I got shot in the face in November, I mean October.”
Marubio set his bail at $50,000 and ordered him to stay in the house from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. His mother posted his $5,000 bail deposit the next day.
As Simmons appeared in court last month, Chicago police and the FBI were already looking at him as a suspect in two flash mob robberies of high-end retailers. according to proseuctors.
On October 5, Simmons and eight others arrived at the Northbrook Court shopping mall in two cars, Assistant State’s Attorney Steven Haamid said yesterday. They allegedly forced their way into the mall’s Louis Vuitton store by pulling the door open from a security guard’s hands and then ran out with loads of merchandise.
Their escape was captured on video:
Haamid said the crew took $70,442 worth of inventory, but three of the stolen handbags were equipped with GPS trackers. Cops found one of the trackers lying next to the Edens Expressway near Northbrook.
They sent the discarded tracker to a crime lab. Simmons’ fingerprints were on it, Haamid said.
Around 2:30 p.m. on January 12, Simmons and four accomplices allegedly rolled up to the Prada store, 30 East Oak, in two stolen cars. They pushed a security guard against the wall and ran out with $46,000 worth of purses, Haamid said. As they escaped, the crew rammed a clothing rack into the security officer. He fell to the floor and injured his wrist.
Investigators used license plate readers and a series of surveillance videos to track Simmons’ movements to a convenience store in North Center and then to Riverdale, where footage showed him and his accomplices unloading the stolen Prada merchandise, Haamid alleged.
Surveillance video from the convenience store helped police identify Simmons and another man who participated in the Prada raid, according to Haamid. The other man, Kahdaffie Green, was charged in February.
Investigators also secured a search warrant for Simmons’ cellular records. His phone location tracked to and from both stores and mirrored the movements of the discarded GPS tracker, Haamid alleged.
On Saturday, still on bail for the felony gun and stolen motor vehicle charges from May, Simmons jumped into a woman’s car at a South Side gas station and drove away, Haamid continued. The auto theft was caught on video.
A short time later, police responded to a call of a person shot. They found Simmons with a graze wound to his back. They also encountered the woman whose car had just been stolen. She ended up at the shooting scene by following the pings from her phone, which was inside the stolen car. Cops found her phone in a yard, not far from where Simmons was shot, Haamid said.
Police arrested Simmons after he was discharged from the hospital. He is charged with felony counts of robbery, possessing a stolen motor vehicle, and aggravated battery of police.
Judge Barbara Dawkins set his bail at $300,000 cash, meaning he must deposit the full amount to get out of jail. Dawkins noted that state law barred her from holding Simmons without bail because prosecutors didn’t ask her to.
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