Report: Serial Thief Assassinated Victims’ Characters Online
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CHICAGO (CBS) — Cook County prosecutors say a Chinese citizen is in the County Jail, awaiting trial on charges he stole storage lockers full of merchandise and cyber-terrorized anyone who got in his way.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, Jicheng “Kevin” Liu, 32, is alleged to have stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of property from people’s homes, and used the Internet to try to destroy the reputations of everyone from former bosses to people who called the police on him, and even the actual officers who arrested him, the Chicago Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner and Jason Meisner reported Thursday morning.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports
In one case, prosecutors tell the Tribune, Liu stole a stroller from a Roscoe Village woman, and was arrested. He proceeded to run ads online claiming his accuser worked as a prostitute from her home, and men started showing up at their front door in the middle of the night and waking up the woman and her husband, thinking they had appointments for sex.
Liu also allegedly launched a character assassination of a theft victim whom he mistakenly thought had had him arrested, claiming she routinely mistreated patients in her position as a children’s hospital nurse. He also posed as a female homebuyer on the Internet and accused the woman’s realtor husband of rape, the newspaper reported.
In a third case, a couple who sold high-end products on eBay suspected that Liu was hawking stolen items, and moved to stop one of his eBay auctions, the Tribune reported. In response, Liu left multiple comments calling the couple dishonest – costing them their entire business – and began texting them threats about their young child, the newspaper reported.
In another incident, Liu posted on a Web site accusing a police officer who arrested him of molesting half a dozen children, the Tribune reported.
Police raided Liu’s Lincoln Park neighborhood last month. Authorities found truckloads of high-end stolen goods at his home and inside five storage units, including bikes, golf clubs, strollers, even personal photos. Many officers said it was 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.
On March 26, the Town Hall District police station, 850 W. Addison St., looked more like a flea market as police displayed the items in an attempt to return them to their owners.
Altogether, the truckloads of stolen items were worth about $500,000.
The Tribune reports Liu has been in the United States illegally for more than 10 years. He stands charged with felony cyber-stalking.