DUPAGE COUNTY, Ill. - Five Venezuelan migrants have been arrested and charged in two separate incidents within the last week, and DuPage County's top prosecutor says it's part of a disturbing trend in the western suburbs.
On Black Friday, three men visited an Elmhurst Kohl's store where they allegedly stole more than $500 worth of merchandise. Officials say one of them was carrying a large magnet to try and thwart the store's anti-theft devices. The men are all from Venezuela and have been living in Waukegan.
The next day in Oak Brook, two Venezuelan migrants were arrested after police say they stole more than $750 in clothing from Macy's.
DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin said when police tried to stop them, one of the men refused, trying to get away before he was brought to the ground and handcuffed.
"And that’s one of the concerns we have about keeping the public safe, is people run out of these stores with items they've stolen, they get in a car and take off at a high rate of speed, putting the motoring public and the police at great risk of bodily injury," Berlin said.
"We have zero tolerance for criminal activity and anyone thinking of stealing from any of these establishments should understand they are going to be arrested, they’re going to be charged, and they’re going to be prosecuted."
As a result of the Safe-T Act, all but one of those men have been released from jail.