Honduran man who mugged Chicago clubgoer was deported in 2017, prosecutors say

CHICAGO — Prosecutors say a Honduran man who robbed a woman as she walked to a Pilsen nightclub last weekend was deported in 2017 for entering the United States illegally. Now, he’s in jail, detained as a public safety threat after a 31-year-old clubgoer played detective to track him down.

The victim was walking in the 600 block of West Cermak, walking to a nightclub, when Jose Salvador Garcia, 26, tried to talk to her in Spanish around 1 a.m. on Sunday, March 3, prosecutors alleged.

However, the woman did not speak Spanish and kept telling him “no” as she continued walking toward the club, according to a proffer of facts filed against Garcia. As she walked, Garcia “suddenly” reached toward the pants pocket where she kept her phone and ripped her pants as he stole the device, the proffer said.

According to prosecutors, the woman chased Garcia, but he got away with the phone and its case, which contained her ID, credit cards, and a $50 bill.

Jose Salvador Garcia (Chicago Police Department)

She returned to the area with her boyfriend about 30 minutes later, and they tried to track the phone, but they didn’t have any luck. The woman returned on Sunday and successfully tracked her phone to a red tent in a homeless camp.

The woman called police after recognizing the robber’s clothing and shoes inside the tent, prosecutors said.

Chicago cops asked Garcia to step out of the tent and asked if he knew anything about a phone.

“Does she want her phone back?” Garcia allegedly replied. “I’ll give it back to her.”

According to the CPD’s arrest report, he then handed over the woman’s phone and its case. Her credit cards and ID were still in the phone case, but her $50 bill was gone.

Judge Charles Beach granted the state’s detention petition.

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