As we’ve noted in the past, buying and selling online has its risks. That’s why those who are prudent arrange to conduct their transactions in safe, public locations. But in Chicago, that’s getting harder to do every day.
Take, for example, the case of a gentleman who wanted to sell a pair of high-dollar Nikes on Facebook Marketplace. Trying to avoid becoming another robbery victim — or worse yet, a homicide stat — he arranged to complete the deal outside the Chicago Police Department’s main headquarters building on South Michigan Avenue.
The “buyers,” wearing ski masks, pulled a gun on him and robbed him anyway. Right. Outside. Police. Headquarters.
Now, four months later, cops have finally nabbed the offender despite having high-definition video of the crime. What’s more, if you guessed the bad actor in this case had previous contact with the criminal justice system, you win a cookie. He was on probation for a previous felony gun charge.
CWB Chicago has the story:
On Tuesday, prosecutors charged Devonta Burchett, 22, with Class X armed robbery in connection with the July 15 hold-up outside Chicago Public Safety Headquarters, 3510 South Michigan. Three alleged accomplices remain at large.
Burchett, who was on probation for a felony gun case at the time, contacted the victim via Facebook and agreed to meet him outside CPD headquarters around 9 p.m. that night to close the deal, Assistant State’s Attorney John Gnilka said.
The victim and Burchett met and talked outside their cars for a short time. Then, Burchett invited the victim to step back to his car so his “brother” could try the shoes on, Gnilka said. As the victim stood outside the passenger door, the car’s windows rolled down, and he saw three more men inside the vehicle. Unlike Burchett, they were all wearing ski masks, according to Gnilka.
Again, completing online sales in a safe, public location is a good way to go. Clearly, meeting directly outside of police HQ seems like as prudent a course of action as possible. But not in Lori Lightfoot’s town. Chicago simply may not have any locations that can reasonably be considered safe any more.