Macy’s shoplifter escaped by pulling a gun on security guards, prosecutors say

Chicago — A shoplifter who pulled a gun on security guards at the State Street Macy’s store last month might have gotten away with it if he hadn’t blocked an entrance to the Harold Washington Library this week with a gun in his waistband, according to prosecutors.

Macy’s security officers kept an eye on Tyrone Harrell when he entered the store with a ski mask on his face around 7 p.m. on January 31, prosecutors said. Guards watched as he allegedly stuffed three hats, a pullover, and a Chicago Blackhawks hoodie under his shirt and headed out the door.

Tyrone Harrell (Left) and a surveillance image of the Macy’s robber. | Chicago Police Department; @area_ranger

They stopped Harrell and escorted him to a holding room to wait for police. While there, he rearranged his ski mask, exposing his face from his mouth to his eyebrows.

But before the cops arrived, the security guards asked Harrell to step into a small room so they could pat him down. As he moved to the room, Harrell pulled a gun out of his jacket, racked the slide, pointed it at four security officers, and ran into the pedway system, prosecutors said.

Detectives shared Macy’s surveillance images with cops across the city and asked officers to help identify the shoplifter.

On Thursday afternoon, officers saw Harrell blocking the Harold Washington Library entrance and refusing to let patrons pass by. They immediately recognized him as the Macy’s suspect because he was wearing the same clothes, according to prosecutors. They also saw a bulge in his waistband, which allegedly turned out to be a handgun with a loaded ammunition magazine attached. 

Two Macy’s security officers also identified Harrell in photo line-ups.

His public defender, Matthew Shepard, said he has a five-year-old child and works at a popcorn factory.

Judge Kelly McCarthy ordered Harrell to pay a $10,000 deposit toward bail to be released on electronic monitoring. He is charged with robbery and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.

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