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Bandit Caught On Camera Scaling 8-Foot Fence, Stealing Packages

By  Linze Rice and Erica Demarest | September 14, 2017 6:24am 

 A man wearing red shoes has been seen by multiple neighbors who say he's stealing packages.
A man wearing red shoes has been seen by multiple neighbors who say he's stealing packages.
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Security Footage

ROGERS PARK — A man wearing bright red gym shoes is stealing packages from the foyers of Rogers Park apartment and condo buildings, according to neighbors. 

Surveillance videos taken at 5:50 p.m. Monday night from a condo building in the 1300 block of West Estes Avenue shows the man scaling an iron gate to gain access to the building's courtyard. 

The man in the video, taken while it was still light outside, is white with brown hair, red sneakers and a black shirt.

He is seen toting a bag that appears to have some items in it, but is not filled. 

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In a minute flat, he zips between the buildings' seven entrances, two of which have doors that require extra effort to ensure they're closed all the way, said Aashisha Mewada, a resident and member of the condo association who posted the security footage. 

 Brian Koncan from his Sept. 2 arrest.
Brian Koncan from his Sept. 2 arrest.
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Chicago Police Department

As the man leaves, he passes two people entering the building. His bag appears more full. 

That day at least two residents also reported items missing from an adjacent building, Mewada said. 

It was at least the second time the man appears to have targeted Mewada's condo building.

A second video taken two weeks earlier around 10 p.m. Aug. 24 appears to show the same man entering the courtyard the same way. 

Some 34 seconds after landing inside the building's gates, he heads back to the main entrance carrying his bag and other packages, ducks out to the sidewalk to see if anyone is coming, and walks off with the loot.

Mewada expects it was the two doors that had trouble closing that gave the thief a place to enter. They were being fixed this week, he said.

On Aug. 23, another Rogers Park resident, Mathieu Kouamé, said he caught a man — also white with brown hair, jeans, a T-shirt and red shoes — stealing packages from his residential building in the 1500 block of West Touhy Avenue. 

Kouamé chased and tackled the man, whom he saw leaving his building and caught red-handed with his new deliveries in tow, he said. 

"The theft itself isn't as shocking as how brazen he is, and fearless, that's what kind of scared me," Mewada said. "He's pretty ballsy about it ... it's almost like he wants to get caught. It's almost comical, but scary."

When Kouamé saw Mewada's footage Monday, he said it appeared to be the same person who took his items. Mewada also shared his footage with police.

On Sept. 2, Police arrested a man in yet another package theft in the area.

Brian Koncan, 25, of the 1600 block of West Chase Avenue in Rogers Park, was arrested in the 1800 block of West Lunt Avenue and charged with two counts of misdemeanor theft.

According to police and court records, Koncan had taken jewelry and other miscellaneous items valued at about $85 from a home on that block, and also appeared to have about $200 worth of jewelry from a woman who reported them missing Aug. 16 in the 1200 block of West Chase Avenue — just one block from where Mewada's camera recorded the other incidents.

Each of the thefts have occurred within about a mile or less of each other.

After the Sept. 2 arrest Koncan was released without having to post bond, records show. He is due back in court Oct. 4 at 2452 W. Belmont Ave. 

Kouamé believes Koncan's booking photo resembles the man he tackled.

Authorities have not charged Koncan in connection with the incidents captured in the surveillance videos or the thefts Kouamé witnessed.

Records show when he was arrested Sept. 2 Koncan was on probation after being convicted of possessing heroin, in 2016​. He could not be reached for comment.

Mewada said there have been a handful of complaints regarding missing packages in the 11 years he's lived there, but for there to be so many in such a quick succession was unusual. 

His building installed the security cameras last year. After the Aug. 24 incident, it also added a sign alerting potential thieves they were on camera.

When he posted the videos on a neighborhood Facebook page, he said they garnered over 100 comments, with at least some claiming to have had similar run-ins. 

He was also impressed by the care and concern of others who had not been victims, but wanted to see the thefts stop.

"It's kind of been really cool the neighborhood has been looking out," Mewada said. "A lot of people who are providing a lot of helpful information haven't even personally had any theft."

Mewada and other neighbors plan to attend Koncan's next court appearance, he said. 

"I think everyone wants to feel safe having packages delivered at home," he said. "People want to go and show the court that this is a serious issue to us, it's not an isolated one- or two-time thing."