Reporting Roseanne Tellez
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CHICAGO (CBS) – They thought they’d never see them again; Stolen bikes, strollers, unopened packages. But on Monday, some North Side residents were getting their stolen property back after they were recovered in a raid on an alleged burglar’s home in Lincoln Park.
CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez reports the city’s Town Hall District police station, 850 W. Addison St., looked more like a flea market on Monday, as police displayed hundreds of pieces of stolen property, all seized from one man.
The shoppers inside were really burglary victims, trying to find stolen property. There was no shortage of people lined up to have a look.
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“I’m missing a bike, some golf clubs, and some power tools,” said Patrick Barrientos.
Police say everything on display on Monday was stolen by Jicheng Liu, 32, who was arrested earlier this month. He allegedly filled five separate storage units with hundreds of stolen items, worth more than $500,000.
Police suspect Liu was running an elaborate fencing operation. He was arrested earlier this month in Lincoln Park, charged with felony cyber-stalking. Authorities found truckloads of high-end stolen goods at his home and inside five storage units.
The items included bikes, golf clubs, strollers, even personal photos.
Many officers said it’s the biggest individual stash they’ve ever seen.
Authorities said Liu would clean out victims’ garages, using about 70 garage door openers, many labeled with specific addresses.
Police said Liu also grabbed some 500 packages off front porches.
One man, who didn’t want to talk on camera, recovered three bikes, two car seats, a stroller and a bin of sports equipment when he visited the police station on Monday.
Doug Smith said around Christmas, several UPS deliveries were stolen from his apartment building.
“You know, Christmas stuff, when the UPS deliveries were coming. You know, we kept wondering what’s happening to all our stuff,” he said.
Unfortunately, he didn’t find the things that were stolen from his home.
Some 200 packages that Liu allegedly stole have already been put back in the mail. The contents of other stolen packages were being placed on display from Monday through Saturday at the Town Hall District station at 850 W. Addison St., along with all the rest of the stolen items recovered from Liu.
Barrientos, a neighbor of the suspect, said he’s totally surprised by the arrest. He said he didn’t notice anything suspicious about Liu’s home.
“Not at all, I didn’t think of anything. It just, you know, things started to go up missing. You just chalk it up as simple burglary, but never like this,” he said.
If you believe something that was stolen from you was recovered by police, you’ll have to prove the items are yours. You can bring a police report, a store receipt, or – in some cases – even a photo of the stolen property (such as a picture of your child in his or her stroller) to the police station. The property is on display at 850 W. Addison St. on Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday, from 8 a.m. to Noon.