Cell phone thieves reach out and dupe NCC students
BY BILL BIRD firstname.lastname@example.org January 25, 2013 11:54PM
Updated: February 28, 2013 7:05AM
Students attending North Central College in Naperville are being advised to be a little less trusting and a little more street wise.
Naperville police confirm several students have been approached since last fall by a man who asks if he might use their cell phones to make a quick call. And when the students obligingly hand over the phones, the man takes off with them.
The most recent theft occurred about 7:30 p.m. Jan. 20, according to a college-issued “campus safety” bulletin. It happened as a male student was walking south on the school’s Sesquicentennial Walkway.
He was “approached by an individual who asked to use his cell phone,” the bulletin read in part. The student handed the phone to the man, who took it and quickly got into the passenger-side seat of a silver BMW, the bulletin stated.
The vehicle left a parking lot and was last seen headed west on Van Buren Avenue and approaching Ellsworth Street, according to the bulletin. The student went into a nearby residence hall and called police.
“A similar incident occurred in November, resulting in the theft of (another) student’s cell phone,” the bulletin declared.
Police Sgt. Lou Cammiso on Friday confirmed “there have been a couple previous (thefts) with a similar suspect description and similar modus operandi in the downtown/campus area.”
Cammiso would not say how many thefts have occurred or specify the locations of those crimes. All of the cases “are under active investigation, so that’s all we are going to say on those for now,” he said.
The campus safety bulletin warned “cell phone theft is on the rise across the country.” College officials are advising students, faculty and other staff members “to be aware of your surroundings, to be cautious about using your cell phone when in public settings, and to refrain from allowing strangers to borrow” a phone or other electronic device.
The suspect in the most recent theft was described as a black man in his early 20s. He stood approximately 5 feet 10 inches tall, had a thin build and wore a black sweatshirt and black sweat pants, according to the bulletin.
Those who believe they have information about the man or any of the thefts were asked to call Naperville police, at 630-420-6666.