Serial sporting goods shoplifter accidentally dropped his driver’s license while stealing a bike, Chicago police report says

CHICAGO — Investigators have linked a man to several shoplifting incidents at North Side sporting goods stores, partly because he accidentally dropped his driver’s license while stealing a bicycle, according to a Chicago police report.

Cops arrested Gustavo Covarrubias, 23, of McKinley Park, last Sunday while investigating a string of shopliftings at Dick’s, 1538 North Clybourn, the report said.

Store personnel identified Covarrubias as the person who stole a set of golf clubs and a golf bag valued at $4,085 from a display earlier in the week, according to the report.

The staff also recognized him from an incident on March 14. That time, according to the police, he put two YETI coolers on the store’s elevator and sent them down to the first floor. Meanwhile, he went down the escalator. On the ground floor, he opened the elevator, took the coolers, and walked out, the police report explained. Value: $550.

After learning Covarrubias’ name, investigators linked him to three shoplifting cases last year at REI, 905 West Eastman, in Lincoln Park. That’s because he allegedly dropped his driver’s license at the store while stealing a $600 bike on June 19.

Gustavo Covarrubias (Chicago Police Department)

The report said he returned less than five hours later and stole another $600 bike. He’s also accused of stealing a $220 YETI cooler from REI on August 28.

Judge Charles Beach released Covarrubias with instructions to stay away from Dick’s and REI, according to court records.

Covarrubias is charged with one count of felony retail theft and four counts of misdemeanor retail theft.

He is benefiting from a unilateral decision by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to not enforce shopliftings of less than $1,000 as felonies, even though state law sets the threshold at $300.

Foxx will be leaving office later this year, and both the Democratic and Republican candidates have said they will enforce the law as written.

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