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Surveillance Video Catches Package Thieves in the Act

By Stephanie Lulay | June 25, 2015 5:53am

WEST LOOP — Two thieves who stole packages from a West Loop condo building in broad daylight last week were caught in the act by an area security camera.

At about 3:15 p.m. June 18, a man and woman broke into a locked residential building near West Jackson Boulevard and South Throop Street and removed three packages that were mailed to homeowners in the building, according to a surveillance video obtained by DNAinfo Chicago.

In the 60-second video, an unidentified man and woman are seen walking past the building on Jackson. A few seconds later, the man and woman reappear in front of the building, walking up the stairs. The man quickly opens the locked door, allowing the woman to run into the building and reemerge with three packages in hand before the pair exits the scene.

Fadi Matalka, president of the building's condo association, said he believes the male accomplice used some sort of tool to open the locked door.

Families living in the condo building installed the surveillance camera about a month and a half ago in an effort to deter crime, Matalka said. Neighboring condo buildings have reported packages stolen in the past, he said.

Last week, a few of the building's eight families were perplexed when packages they ordered weren't in the mailroom as expected. In search of their missing parcels, they called UPS, FedEx, and checked in with the mailman, but the delivery services confirmed each package was dropped off in the secure building as scheduled.

"They sent an e-mail asking everyone in the building, 'did anybody pick it up on accident?'" Matalka remembered. Nobody did.

At that point, the condo board decided to check the surveillance camera.

"Sure enough, we stumbled across these two casually breaking into the building," Matalka said. "It took them 30 seconds [in full] daylight."

While the West Loop may be a safe neighborhood, Matalka said the pair was bold enough to break into the building in the middle of the day as others strolled by. The condo building is located steps from the Chicago Police Academy, 1300 W. Jackson Blvd., and a block from Skinner Park.

Matalka said he hopes sharing the video with neighbors will help police identify the alleged thieves or deter them from stealing again.

"I just want to give people a heads up — there are people out there that will steal from you," Matalka said.

The building's condo association is contracting with a security shop to install a more effective lock to better secure the door and neighbors plan to file a police report.

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