A 22-year-old Chicago man is facing felony theft charges after Evanston poice identified him as the person who grabbed a cell phone from the hands of a Northwestern University graduate student.

The 24-year-old student was talking on his phone as he walked near the intersection of Foster Street and Sheridan Road on April 20. The thief grabbed the phone — a Samsung Galaxy 3 — and then threatened to shoot the victim when he tried to get it back.

Cmdr. Jay Parrott says detectives traced the stolen phone to a cell phone store on Chicago’s north side, where they learned the identity of the person who’d sold it to the store.

Parrott says the victim was able to identify 22-year-old Mitchell J. Ratliff, of 1642 W. Jonquil Terrace, as the thief, and that Ratliff made an admission to detectives about the theft during the investigation.

He’s now scheduled to appear in Skokie district court at 9 a.m June 20.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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