5 years for Chicago man who robbed Prada, Louis Vuitton

Tony Simmons pleaded guilty to participating in the raid of Louis Vuitton in Northbrook and a host of other charges. | Twitter; Cook County sheriff’s office

A Chicago man accused of participating in flash mob raids on Prada and Louis Vuitton stores—plus possessing a firearm, possessing a stolen car, and robbery—has resolved his legal problems by pleading guilty to a few counts. His sentence worked out to about five years, but he will be out next summer after serving half of it.

Last June, prosecutors charged Tony Simmons, 21, with participating in flash mob robberies of the Prada Store on Oak Street and Louis Vuitton in Northbrook. But that’s not all.

Simmons was on parole for armed robbery, one of his four juvenile adjudications, at the time of those crimes. The month before being charged with the flash mobs, he picked up a felony gun case and a stolen motor vehicle charge in adult court. He posted bail, stole another car, and then got shot, prosecutors said last year. It was the second time he’d been shot in a year, officials said.

On October 5, 2021, Simmons and eight others arrived at the Northbrook Court shopping mall in two cars, prosecutors alleged. The group forced their way into the mall’s Louis Vuitton store by pulling the door from a security guard’s hands, and then ran out with loads of merchandise.

Their escape was caught on video:

Prosecutors 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. Simmons’ fingerprints were on it, they said.

In January 2022, 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.

Chicago police used license plate readers, phone GPS data, and a series of surveillance videos to build a case against Simmons.

Now, prosecutors have struck a deal with Simmons. They agreed to drop a number of felonies in exchange for some guilty pleas before two different judges, Lorraine Murphy and Mary Brosnahan.

Simmons pleaded guilty to three counts of solicitation of robbery, two counts of burglary, aggravated battery of a peace officer, and aiding or abetting the possession of a stolen motor vehicle and received a three-year sentence for each charge. And he received 18 months for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.

Nearly all of the sentences will be served concurrently, giving him an effective sentence of about five years, according to court records. He’s expected to be released next July.

So, what’s the deal with all of those other charges to which he pleaded guilty?

During a bond hearing in May 2022, before he was charged with the flash mobs, prosecutors said police found him sleeping inside a Dodge Charger in a McDonald’s parking lot after business hours. The license plate on the Charger was stolen from an Infiniti, and the Charger itself was stolen, too, 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 the 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 in cash. In the car’s back seat, police found 15 automobile key fobs, according to prosecutors.

“I just got shot in the face,” he told the bond court judge. “The only reason I’m doing that is I got shot in the face in November, I mean October.”

His mother posted a $5,000 bail deposit to get him out of jail the next day.

Over the next few weeks, investigators solidified the flash mob allegations and prepared to arrest him. It didn’t take long for the cops to find him.

In mid-June 2022, still on bail for the gun and stolen motor vehicle charges, Simmons allegedly jumped into a woman’s car at a South Side gas station and drove away.

Minutes later, Simmons was shot again. While police were investigating the incident, the woman whose car got stolen at the gas station arrived on the scene. She was following the pings from her phone, which was inside her car when the thief took it.

Police found her phone lying in a nearby yard, not far from where Simmons was shot.

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