Cameras help Evanston cops nab alleged pickpocket

Evanston pollice say a police dispatcher monitoring downtown surveillance cameras helped officers identify a pickpocket suspect this weekend.

Cmdr. Jay Parrott says officers responded to a theft call at Bar Louie at Sherman Avenue and Grove Street about 1:15 p.m. Saturday.

He says officers were told three subjects had gone into the restaurant and were observed sitting at a table adjacent to the victim. The subjects then fled the restaurant just before the victim realized her wallet was missing.

A police dispatcher monitoring a surveillance camera located near the restaurant saw three subjects enter a black Jeep Cherokee and drive off and broadcast the description of the vehicle to officers on the street.

Detectives in the area of the Target store in the 2200 block of Howard Street spotted a vehicle matching the description and were able to detain two subjects.

Parrott says the police investigation revealed that the subjects involved were part of a professional pick pocket crew.

Police recovered proceeds taken from the victim and computer hardware being used to make fraudulent identification cards.

Parrott says the equipment for producing fraudulent identification allows offenders to present a fake I.D. along with a victim's credit card to make a transaction at a store. The transactions often occur quickly after a victim's wallet is taken to avoid having the transactions declined once the card is reported stolen.

Police today charged Mark E. Mack, 41, of 1634 W. 77th St. in Chicago, with felony theft. He's scheduled to appear in Skokie district court at 9 a.m. on May 8.

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