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Bike Cops Thwart Downtown Cell Phone Theft

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Police officers Theresa Pietrusiewicz Anthony Nicpon. (Credit: CBS)

Police officers Theresa Pietrusiewicz Anthony Nicpon. (Credit: CBS)

Pamela Jones Pamela Jones
Pamela Jones serves as a general assignment reporter for CBS 2...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – A would-be cell phone bandit took a woman for “easy prey” Tuesday. Police say he knocked a woman using a crutch to the ground and swiped her cell phone in broad daylight.

But two cops on bikes were there in the nick of time. CBS 2’s Pamela Jones shares their story in this original report.

The lights and sounds seem familiar, but police officers Theresa Pietrusiewicz and Anthony Nicpon roll on two wheels instead of four and Tuesday at about 5 p.m., in a rush hour traffic nightmare, they say bikes proved to be the perfect vehicle to help catch a suspected criminal on the run.

“Bicycles can get around the traffic and when you have somebody on foot running, I don’t think there’s anything better than being on a bicycle,” said Nicpon.

It was Tuesday on Dearborn and Lake street when a woman walking with a crutch stopped to check her cell phone. She says a guy snatched the phone from her hand, knocked her down and took off. A witness flagged down the officers.

“A guy comes running up to us and he says, ‘Hey, that guy in the white over there just pushed a woman down and stole her phone.’ So we see a guy, the guy he was pointing to, and he was running,” said Nicpon.

The officers caught up to the suspect within seconds about a block away.

The man was 23-year-old Clayton Jones and he’s charged with felony robbery. Officers say he still had his alleged victim’s cell phone on him.

Asked if he considers himself a hero, Nicpon says, “Not so much. Just doing our job. Serve and protect.”

They also credit the bystander who alerted them.

“There were very nice people on the street that day to help this woman when she really needed it,” said Pietrusiewicz. “I’m glad we were there as well.”

They say the victim was in a lot of pain. She was using the crutch to help heal after a severe muscle tear and her fall just made matters worse. Of course she was grateful for the officers’ help.

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