CHICAGO — A man on parole for robbing a T-Mobile store in 2020 is back in jail after he robbed a Verizon store this week, according to Chicago police. The details of the two crimes are remarkably similar, including the number of phones taken, the replica firearm used, and the way Chicago police tracked him down.
Coincidentally, Jeffery Brooks was wearing a hoodie emblazoned with the words “BAD HABITS” when cops arrested him shortly after this week’s holdup.
Prosecutors said Brooks, 24, entered the Verizon at 1652 North Milwaukee around 10 a.m. Wednesday and briefly browsed the merchandise before pulling out a BB gun realistically designed to look like a Glock handgun.
He ordered the employee to take him to the phone inventory area. The worker complied, and Brooks put 14 iPhones into a bag and fled the scene, officials said.
One of the phone boxes contained a GPS tracker, though, and cops quickly realized it was heading south on the Red Line. They intercepted the train at Garfield and stopped Brooks near the exit because he resembled the robber, according to his CPD arrest report.
While officers were speaking with him, though, dispatchers radioed a different description, and they let him go, the report continued.
Within seconds, cops in CPD’s technology center announced that the tracker started moving again, heading east on Garfield Boulevard. The officers at the CTA station looked east on Garfield and saw Brooks running away. They found him hiding behind a group of dumpsters with a bag containing 14 iPhones, an empty box, and a “realistic replica Glock handgun,” according to the arrest report.
Prosecutors also charged Brooks on Friday with pistol-whipping a woman in her face and head while robbing her of an iPhone in the 6800 block of North Greenview on June 4, court records show.
Judge Barbara Dawkins detained him at the state’s request.
Incredibly, Brooks was paroled last year for a stunningly similar robbery of a T-Mobile store in June 2020.
In that case, Brooks took exactly 14 iPhones, including one that was a GPS tracker, court records show. CPD’s technology center began tracking the device, and patrol officers followed its signal to find Brooks sitting in the back seat of an Uber with a bag full of iPhones, a GPS tracker between his feet, and a realistic Glock 17-style BB gun, the documents say.
Judge Margaret Ogarek sentenced Brooks to six years on August 3, 2021. The state paroled him on August 19, 2022, barely two years after he robbed the T-Mobile shop.
He has previous convictions for aggravated robbery and felony retail theft, according to Illinois Department of Corrections records.