Illinois Festivals Continue To Be Plagued By Out-Of-State Pickpockets
The theft of cell phones by out-of-state thieves continues to be an issue at Illinois festivals after 10 people were charged during the recent Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago.
According to CWBChicago.com, a covert police task force was used to catch a group of alleged cell phone thieves from Florida, New York, New Jersey and California.
"Officers tracked the group to the 800 block of South Columbus where they placed 'several' phones into a black shoulder bag," the website states about the incident at Lollapalooza, which is held each year in Chicago's Grant Park.
Undercover officers were able to stop a similar operation the following day at the festival.
The report goes on to say officers recovered "dozens" of stolen cell phones during the operation.
This is far from the first time phone theft has been an issue at Lollapalooza.
According to Fox 32, a four-person crew was charged with felony theft after being caught swiping cell phone's at last year's festival. More than 120 stolen cell phones were recovered in 2021.
Cell phone theft is getting more attention at other festivals around the city.
According to CWB Chicago, cell phone theft has long been an issue at Pride Fest.
"So has the area's Market Days festival, which was held over the weekend —with large signs posted to warn partygoers about pickpockets," the CWB Chicago Report said.
In most of the cases, the offenders are from out-of-state. That can make prosecution tricky once they post bail and return home.
CWB Chicago reported that many charges from the 2021 Lollapalooza thefts, which netted 120 stolen phones, were dropped.
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