One charged after crew steals purses worth $210,380 from Louis Vuitton store in downtown Chicago

Michael Bibbs (inset) and a frame from store security footage. | Chicago Police Department; Chicago Critter

CHICAGO — Prosecutors say a Chicago man was among ten people who swiped $210,000 worth of handbags and purses during a 26-second raid on a Louis Vuitton store in River North last month.

Michael Bibbs, 18, was arrested Monday at the Cook County jail. He has been residing there since Chicago police allegedly caught him with a stolen machine gun three days after the shoplifting mob targeted the Louis Vuitton shop inside Nordstrom, 55 East Grand, on November 13.

Shortly before 8 o’clock that evening, the flash mob donned face masks and hoodies, then made their way up an escalator to the Louis Vuitton section, a Chicago police case report said.

The crew didn’t say a word or display any weapons as they ripped about 45 purses from the display shelves. According to the report, each bag retailed for between $3,000 and $11,000. Store managers determined merchandise worth $210,380 was taken during the theft, which lasted 26 seconds from start to finish, the report said.

All the thieves appeared to wear gloves during the raid, but they left pieces of razor wire behind, possibly a tool they planned to use if they encountered security cords.

After gathering the purses, all ten thieves bolted back down the escalator and headed east on Grand Avenue, the report continued.

The theft was caught on store video, which was posted to Twitter last month by Chicago Critter. Watch:

Bibbs is charged with theft of $100,000 to $500,000 in connection with the Louis Vuitton heist. Should he be released in the pending gun case, he will be placed on electronic monitoring for the theft charge, Judge Maryam Ahamad said during a first appearance hearing Tuesday.

While only 18, Bibbs has already developed a significant felony resume. Prosecutors say he was convicted of possessing a stolen motor vehicle last year and was adjudicated delinquent for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon by a felon when he was a juvenile.

On November 16, Chicago police allegedly saw Bibbs driving a stolen Jeep Cherokee the wrong way and then watched as he crashed into another motorist and a home in the 5800 block of South Morgan.

He ran from the wreckage, but CPD officers found him hiding in some bushes near a set of railroad tracks, according to his arrest report.

The cops found a 9-millimeter handgun equipped to fire automatically like a machine gun on the Jeep’s driver’s seat and another 9-millimeter handgun with an extended ammo magazine on the driver’s floorboard, prosecutors alleged last week. Police said the machine gun had been reported stolen in Wisconsin.

Bibbs is charged with possessing a machine gun, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, possessing a stolen motor vehicle, and aggravated fleeing in that case. Judge Charles Beach ordered him to be jailed as a public safety threat on November 17.

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About Tim Hecke 331 Articles
Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. His email address is tim@cwbchicago.com