Migrants arrested for fighting over mattress, storming O’Hare TSA checkpoint, shoplifting at high-end Mag Mile stores

Migrants living outside the 18th District police station on the Near North Side in September 2023. | Provided

CHICAGO — Two Venezuelan migrants living in a Chicago Police Department station lobby were apparently evicted from the facility after fighting over a mattress.

Joseph Vega, 28, and Cristian Diaz, 27, lived at the Central (1st) District station in the South Loop when Diaz “incited violence against Vega” regarding the mattress, officers wrote in an arrest report. The report said the men were “brawling” and “exchanging blows” in the middle of State Street.

The officers referred to the men as fellow “household members” and accused them of putting “approximately 115 migrant shelter seekers/community members … and peace officers in danger and risk of physical harm.”

Both men were told they were “no longer welcome” at the station due to “reckless and precarious behavior.”

They were charged with misdemeanor reckless conduct and released.

High-end tastes

Two migrants from Venezuela who currently live in New York City are accused of shoplifting $5,325 worth of clothing from a store on the Magnificent Mile. That’s in Chicago, of course.

William Lucena and Kevin Alvarez, both 23, are charged with felony retail theft.

“The defendant resides in New York, been here a month … yet here he is at 26th and California,” observed Judge Maryam Ahmad as she reviewed the allegations against Lucena. She made similar comments about Alvarez.

Prosecutors told Ahmad that both men entered Saks Fifth Avenue, 700 North Michigan, around 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Store security officers detained the men after watching them stuff clothing into bags and walk out the door, according to their Chicago Police Department arrest reports.

Alvarez was caught with clothing worth $3,450, while Lucina had $1,875 worth of the store’s goods, according to prosecutors.

Lucina, who has lived in New York City for about a year and works as an Uber driver, has been in Chicago for a month, his defense attorney said. He has a 2-week-old child.

He also has a pending larceny case in New York, prosecutors said. Ahmad noted that for the record, too.

Both men appeared in court on Sunday, the last day of the cash bail system in Illinois. Lucina posted a $300 bail deposit, and Alvarez posted a $100 bail deposit to get out of jail. Ahmad ordered them to stay in Illinois until their cases are resolved.

Across the street at Neiman Marcus, Gilbert Valencia Ruiz, a 23-year-old migrant living at the Near West (12th) District station, was arrested last Friday for allegedly stealing a $1,015 hoodie. Judge William Fahy released him from custody to await trial for felony retail theft.

O’Hare arrest

Police say one of the migrants living at O’Hare International Airport forced his way through a TSA security checkpoint and stole a radio from a United Airlines employee.

Carlos Silva, 43, is charged with felony theft and felony criminal trespass in a restricted area of an airport.

Silva “pushed barricades” and ran past TSA agents after being told that he needed a boarding pass to enter the secure portion of Terminal 1, a CPD report said.

The report said he was arrested inside the security zone with a Motorola radio that he swiped from a United customer service supervisor at gate B19.

Judge Barbara Dawkins released him from custody.

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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