CHICAGO (CBS) — In Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood, two people have been deemed “the couple” after being caught on camera, time and time again, stealing everything from plants to baby strollers to Halloween decorations.
And it’s been going on for years.
CBS 2’s Audrina Bigos went to find out why they’re free to roam.
If you walk down the street in Bucktown, just look up. you’ll see camera after camera. Eyes everywhere, looking out for…
“It’s a couple. It’s always this couple. The man and woman,” said Maria, a Bucktown resident. She has nine cameras on lookout. She’s running surveillance 24-7 after the couple stole first from her last year.
Maria doesn’t want her last name used.
“He pushes the cart and she has no cares in the world. She just goes right in and takes everything,” Maria said
In surveillance video, you see the woman trying to pull out Maria’s yard lights.
“(She) jsut came in, took them all out, (put) them in her bag and walked right out like it was nothing,” Maria said.
Then a month later, video showed them back in her yard. After seeing the videos, CBS 2 talked to neighbor after neighbor who told similar stories. And they’ve been documenting the couple for years, rolling their shopping cart with stolen plants inside, pulling planters from a porch, swiping lanterns.
Plenty of pictures of them roaming Bucktown and Humboldt park.
“Serial thieves,” said a Bucktown resident named Dan. “It’s the same people hitting the close-by communities.”
His garden got hit twice. He too doesn’t want his last name used.
“The second time in June, they stole all of my peppers,” he said.
Neighbors created a spreadsheet to keep tabs of all the thefts. Dozens of stolen items over the last two years, with pictures and videos to prove it.
“We know who it is,” Maria said.
Their names: Janet Ramirez and Lucio Maciel.
CBS 2 pulled their records and found they were arrested at the same location on the same day, charged with the same offense – twice in 2018, once for theft. The other for criminal trespassing.
Jailed for one day and then released.
Chicago police said detectives are looking into all these cases, but there are no warrants out for the couple’s arrest.