$500K worth of stolen electronics seized in Lawndale

- A months-long investigation resulted in the seizure of cash, weapons and $500,000 worth of stolen electronics from businesses in the Lawndale neighborhood on the West Side, Chicago Police announced Friday.

“Operation Hot Corner” was launched in November 2015 after suspicious activity was observed at several businesses located in the 4100 block of West Roosevelt Road, police said. As a result of the investigation, three businesses in the block were closed for unsafe building conditions and for being the site of illegal activity.

Mohammad Hejaz, 25, of Burbank and Bakr Shahen, 27, of Oak Lawn were each charged with felony counts of continuing financial criminal enterprise, theft, selling stolen items and money laundering, police said.

Shaen was additionally charged with possession of ammunition without a valid FOID card, police said. A tactical shotgun and a handgun were also recovered as part of the seizures.

The seized items included numerous smartphones as well as a device that circumvents their security systems, called an Octoplus, police said. Also seized were about 800 counterfeit items and about $15,000 in cash.

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