RANCH TRIANGLE — Three teenage cellphone thieves were charged with armed robbery after police were able to track the phone through its Global Positioning System, authorities said.
Officer Jose Estrada, a Chicago Police spokesman, said a 32-year-old man was walking in the 1900 block of North Dayton Street about 10:40 p.m. Tuesday when four people with a gun walked up from behind and started to rob him.
The man handed over his cellphone and the robbers ran off, Estrada said. The man went home to call police.
Estrada said police were able to access the GPS system on the phone and start tracking the robbers.
Ald. Michele Smith (43rd) said in her weekly newsletter Friday that officers first tracked the phone to the CTA Red Line station at North and Clybourn avenues, then to the Red Line Grand Avenue stop, where they intercepted the robbers.
The victim was able to identify them, and they were arrested, Estrada said. The victim's phone and a BB gun were recovered.
Two 15-year-olds and a 16-year-old were each charged as juveniles with armed robbery. Another 15-year-old was released without being charged.
Smith said the teens were linked to another robbery, and indeed there has been a recent spate of armed robberies in the Lincoln Park involving four suspects. But Estrada said police are not yet linking the four teens arrested to any of the other robberies in the area.