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Police Debunk Woman’s Story Of Jewelry Robbery On Mag Mile

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Photo Credit: Kathleen Virginia Page

Photo Credit: Kathleen Virginia Page

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Updated 05/17/13 – 6:34 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) –A suburban woman’s claims that a mob of young men threatened her on Michigan Avenue in broad daylight and took cash and jewelry worth more than $135,000 from her are not true, Chicago police said Thursday night.

The purported victim, a 68-year-old Homewood resident, told authorities she was accosted by a group of six to eight African American men while walking in the 700 block of North Michigan Avenue around noon Wednesday, in front of Saks Fifth Avenue. She said they demanded her purse and pieces of valuable jewelry.

“Right away, one took my purse, and then the other one said, ‘Either you take off your jewelry or I will,’” the victim told CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot on Thursday.  “I’m a little lady, and they were big.”

On Thursday, a representative with the Chicago Police Department’s News Affairs office said there were “inconsistencies” in the woman’s story, when compared with surveillance video along the heavily trafficked area.

“Detectives confronted the victim with inconsistencies between her account of the incident and recovered video, and learned that the story was not true,” a statement from News Affairs said.

Police were not saying whether she told them what prompted her to make up the story, but before the case crumbled, she told CBS 2 “I really think something positive came out of it because I believe they will be more aware and have more foot patrols on Michigan Avenue.”

In the interview, the woman offered police a large reward that was to have been put toward the costs of “the people’s protection,” but only if they recovered some of the items purportedly stolen from her.

Police News Affairs Officer Ronald Gaines said that the department has not decided whether to charge her with filing a false report, or whether they will seek to recover any of their costs in the high-profile case.

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