Reporting Marissa Bailey
HOMEWOOD, Ill. (CBS) — Liese Ricketts was debuting a Peruvian artwork collection in Arequipa, Peru back in March when she hailed a cab with a friend and was attacked by four masked men.
Ricketts, who teaches photography at the University of Chicago Lab School, was attacked on March 26th after a friend unknowingly hailed an unlicensed cab. Ricketts says licensed cabs in Peru tend to be older model cars with tattered interiors but have clear signs on the sides marking the cab company. The car Liese and her friend got into was a newer model sedan with only a single sign on the top.
Liese says the cab driver took the women to an alley where 3 masked men starting beating the women before blindfolding them and taking them to another undisclosed location.
“They said we aren’t going to harm you — we just want all of your money. I didn’t believe them though.” Says Ricketts.
While held at the location, Ricketts says the men started making phone calls.
“They got very busy all of a sudden talking on their radio to what they called their base station. They wanted the credit card numbers and they were checking the pins and what we realized was — they were withdrawing the money.”
Ricketts says she and her friend were held for 3 hours before the captors drove them to a field and let them go. The two women ran to a nearby car repair shop and called for help. Ricketts says she called local police but was forced to give them money to file a formal police report. She made it home the next day but says the number listed in Peru for the US Embassy did not work. Ricketts also says she reached out to Senator Dick Durbin’s office but was only told they’ll look into it.
CBS 2 has reached out to Senator Durbin’s office and the State Department but so far, our calls have not yet been returned.
Liese says despite the brutal attack, she forgives the attackers and plans to return to Peru next year.