Migrants sold shoplifted merchandise outside Loop shelter: prosecutors

Yonathan Cubillan (inset left) and Charlie Rodriguez are “new neighbors” | Disney; Chicago Police Department

CHICAGO — Two Venezuelan migrants have been charged with trying to sell shoplifted merchandise outside a downtown Chicago shelter. And three other migrants were recently arrested together after a sharp-eyed CTA employee noticed they boarded a bus with $2,000 worth of merchandise that still had shoplifting sensors attached.

A CPD surveillance camera operator sent patrol cars to the 300 block of South Plymouth after they saw two male migrants selling merchandise on Monday afternoon, according to the men’s arrest reports.

Officers detained Yonathon Cubillan, 27, and Charlie Rodriguez, 22, after noticing that their merchandise still had price tags attached from Burlington and Five Below, the reports said. Both retailers have locations near the Standard Club migrant shelter at 320 South Plymouth.

Burlington confirmed that the items with their tags attached had been shoplifted. A loss prevention officer at the store told police that Rodriguez is a known shoplifter, the reports said.

Both men were charged with misdemeanor theft and cited for soliciting without a license.

It is the second time Rodriguez has been arrested for a shoplifting-related crime since arriving in our fair city. On October 14, he was charged with shoplifting a pair of $250 Dolce & Gabbana pants from Nordstrom, 55 West Grand. Prosecutors dropped the case last month.

In a separate incident, three Venezuelan migrants were arrested in the Loop on December 8 after a suspicious CTA bus driver called the police on them.

The bus driver noticed the trio “got on the CTA bus at State and Lake with clothing items that had security sensors on them without shopping bags which seemed suspicious,” an officer wrote in their arrest reports.

Officers boarded the bus and detained former 1st District police station residents Gusbel Ascanio, 27, Jose Rodriguez, 29, and Luis Torres, 32, for questioning.

The crew was carrying $1,286 worth of coats and hats shoplifted from Marshall’s at 600 North Michigan; luggage worth $540 that was shoplifted from TJ Maxx at 11 North State; and eleven hats worth $246 stolen from Vans at 500 North Michigan, according to the arrest reports.

They are each charged with two felony counts of retail theft and one misdemeanor count of retail theft.

The arrests are the second for Ascanio and Rodriguez, according to CPD records.

Ascanio was charged with misdemeanor retail theft on October 20 after a Nordstrom Rack employee accused her of stealing a bottle of Hugo Boss perfume and a yellow ring from the company’s Loop location. The case is still pending.

Rodriguez was arrested on October 2, 13 days after he arrived in Chicago, when a Macy’s employee accused him of stealing a backpack and headband from the State Street store. Prosecutors dropped the case on November 17.

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