Man stole $56,150 worth of watches from Mag Mile store just hours before being arrested for hitting bar bouncer with a hammer: prosecutors

Anthony Strozier | CPD; Google

For Anthony Strozier, July 26 was one of those days that started great but then went downhill.

We told you about the “downhill” part last week: Strozier was arrested outside Mother Hubbard’s, 5 West Hubbard, around 10 o’clock that evening after being identified as the man who hit one of the bar’s bouncers in the head with a hammer.

But less than five hours earlier, Strozier successfully stole more than $55,000 worth of luxury watches from a store on Michigan Avenue, according to new allegations filed Tuesday.

At around 5:45 p.m. on July 26, a man wearing a COVID mask, suit, tie, and work boots walked into Ralph Lauren, 750 North Michigan Avenue, and used bolt cutters to break into a jewelry case, prosecutor Zachary Peasall said Tuesday.

Strozier allegedly grabbed four men’s watches worth $56,150 and walked out the door.

CPD’s organized retail theft task force went to work, using video files to track the thief as he walked from the store into the nearby Peninsula Hotel. Minutes later, the thief walked out of the hotel with a rolling suitcase and walked to a storage facility in the 300 block of West Kinzie, according to Peasall.

He claimed that the thief gained access to the building by entering a security code associated with Strozier’s girlfriend, who has a storage unit at the facility.

Strozier was recognized on surveillance video by a detective who worked the Mother Hubbard case. The following day, on August 1, police searched the storage unit and allegedly discovered two of the watches, the suitcase, bolt cutters, and the thief’s clothes.

After being arrested on Monday, Strozier allegedly asked investigators what would happen if he returned the watches.

Assistant Public Defender Suzin Farber said Strozier lives with his fiance and has worked at a furniture store in the Merchandise Mart for two years.

During Strozier’s bail hearing for Mother Hubbard’s case, a different defense attorney stated that Strozier had been working as a restaurant manager.

Judge Susana Ortiz ordered Strozier to pay a $1,000 bail deposit to get out of jail on the new charge, felony theft. Once he does, he must observe a 24-hour curfew, she said.

Strozier is already on electronic monitoring in the Mother Hubbard’s matter. He is charged with felony aggravated battery with a deadly weapon in that case.

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