Purse thieves caught on video in Wicker Park taco shop

This video image shows a purse thief (yellow hat) reaching back to steal a woman’s purse from her chair at a Wicker Park taco shop on November 18, 2022. | Provided

Chicago — Fresh surveillance video from a Wicker Park taco shop shows just how slick Chicago’s purse thieves can be. Thefts of purses and phones from restaurant patrons nosedived during COVID, but they’re on the upswing now as life returns to normal.

And this video, recorded yesterday, shows a two-man team in action. They’re incredibly daring, stealing a woman’s purse while she dines with three friends — and two of her companions are looking in the thieves’ direction.

Here’s the video. Don’t blink, or you’ll miss it.

The woman didn’t even notice that her bag was gone until they went out to her car about 30 minutes later, one of her friends said. It happened at Antique Taco, 1360 North Milwaukee, but the men apparently hit other locations in the neighborhood, too.

“We sat in her car for around 20 minutes, hoping to potentially see them. Luckily, we did see them, and they were driving their car and parked right across the street from us on the other side of the road,” the friend said in a message to CWBChicago. “What are the chances!”

The friends “saw them go into Foxtrot and do the same thing, where they would meander and then steal stuff and leave. We called the cops and filed a police report, and they did not show up for over an hour of us waiting,” the friend continued. “We ended up leaving without waiting for the cops.”

Video images show the two men who stole a woman’s purse from a Wicker Park taco shop on November 18, 2022. | Provided

“This was happening in Wicker Park at the Starbucks, the Foxtrot, and the Antique Taco,” she said.

The group saw their friend’s purse inside the thieves’ gray, older-model Jeep, which has an Illinois license plate starting with DC48, the friend said. But, having more scruples than the criminals, the friends decided not to break into the SUV to get it.

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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