Armed men robbed Lincoln Square cellular store of Apple products worth $36,000: prosecutors

David Banks | Chicago Police Department; Google

CHICAGO — A 21-year-old Chicago man is charged with helping another man rob a Lincoln Square cellular store of Apple products worth more than $36,000.

Judge Barbara Dawkins ordered David Banks detained as a public safety threat, but his alleged accomplice slipped away from police.

Prosecutors said Banks and the other man entered Verizon, 4752 North Lincoln, around 12:30 p.m. Friday. With the other man brandishing a gun, the pair allegedly forced two employees and three customers into a back room.

According to the allegations, after ordering an employee to open the safe, Banks and his partner loaded 38 boxed iPhones and three Apple Watches worth $36,109 into a suitcase and two bags.

Unbeknownst to the two robbers, one of the iPhone boxes they stole was actually a GPS tracking device, prosecutors said. Chicago police tracked the device as it traveled on an inbound Brown Line train after the robbery.

They intercepted the train at Belmont and found Banks and his partner on board with a suitcase sitting across from them, police said. The officers tried to handcuff the men after investigators activated a “chirping” sound on the iPhone tracker, and the cops heard the noise coming from inside the suitcase.

Banks and the other man resisted arrest, police said. The cops managed to get Banks into custody after a struggle, but the other guy broke away and jumped onto the roof of a nearby building, then ran from the scene. He remains at large.

In addition to the suitcase, police found two gym bags containing sealed iPhones and Apple Watches on the train. They also recovered a pair of jeans from where Banks and the other man were seated. A loaded handgun was in one of its pockets, according to Banks’ arrest report.

He is charged with armed robbery with a firearm and two counts of misdemeanor resisting.

The man who got away was described as Black, heavyset, 5’6″ to 5’9″ tall, with handcuffs on one wrist. He had long dreadlocks and wore a gray and brown top with red stripes, police at the scene reported.

Crime pattern

On Saturday, armed robbers restrained employees of a downtown cellular store and got away with over $50,000 worth of iPhones, according to a preliminary Chicago police report.

It happened at T-Mobile, 600 West Roosevelt, shortly after 10 a.m.

Two men armed with at least one gun entered the store and restrained the employees with zip ties. They took phones and cash from the store’s safe and escaped in a black Jeep Compass that was last seen heading west on Roosevelt Road.

An officer at the scene said the robbers were two Black men wearing ski masks, one about 5’6″ tall and the other about 6’2″ tall. Both were about 20 years old.

CPD warned cellular stores late last month about armed robbers who had targeted businesses in Lincoln Park and Roscoe Village. Some of those stores’ employees were also zip-tied.

Police said the robbers walked into the stores and asked about phones until customers left. Once they were alone with the employees, the robbers pulled out handguns and forced the workers to retrieve Apple products from the store’s safe.

The alert described the suspects as two Black men between 20 and 30 years old who wore black hoodies, black pants, and surgical or ski masks.

One of the Roscoe Village robbers had a cross-shaped tattoo between his eyes, and the other had a large gap between his front teeth, according to an officer who responded to the store’s 911 call.

Anyone with information about the crimes can contact Area Three detectives at 312-744-8263 regarding crime pattern #P23-3-076.

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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