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iPhone Leads Police To Suspects In 3 Home Invasions

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Aaron Smith, Joe Parker

Aaron Smith (left) and Joe Parker are charged in three home invasion on the city’s North and Near West sides. (Credit: Chicago Police)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Smart phones may be tempting for robbers to take, but a couple of suspects were outsmarted by the owners of the phones they stole this weekend.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, police say the theft of an iPhone helped lead police to two suspects who are suspected in a series of home break-ins on the North and Near West sides.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports

Aaron Smith, 22, and Joe Parker, 20, were arrested about 5 p.m. Saturday after Near North District police spotted them in stolen vehicle, according to a police News Affairs release.

A University of Illinois at Chicago police officer used GPS phone tracking technology to help police find one suspect around North Avenue and Clark Street. The other was found near Belmont Avenue and Clark Street.

Police recovered one victim’s wallet, along with a long-barrel .357 Magnum revolver, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Police say the suspects stole the iPhone from a house in the 1100 block of West 13th Street, on the former site of the ABLA public housing development just west of the University Village neighborhood.

Just half an hour before they were arrested, the pair allegedly walked up to the house and said they had car trouble. Once inside, they allegedly pistol-whipped two people and robbed them of cash, electronics and telephones before fleeing in a blue vehicle with out-of-state license plates.

Police recovered a loaded .357 revolver and proceeds from the robbery in the vehicle, the release said.

They were later identified as suspects in two other alleged home invasions Saturday. One was in the 1800 block of West Cuyler Avenue in the Northcenter neighborhood — where they allegedly fired a bullet into the floor — and one was in the 900 block of West Sheridan Road on the northern edge of the Lakeview neighborhood.

Smith and Parker allegedly kicked in the doors of both homes and struck victims in the head with a gun before robbing them of valuables, the release said.

Smith, of South Bend, Ind., was charged with six counts of home invasion and one count of aggravated discharge of a firearm, the release said. Parker, of the 5500 block of South Aberdeen Street, was charged with three counts of home invasion.

Both were scheduled to appear in bond court later Monday.

Victims injured in the home invasions were treated for lacerations at area hospitals and have been released as of early Monday, the release said.

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