Thursday, October 21, 2021

Colleagues flee robbery suspects posting photos of themselves in dressing rooms

(CNN) — A gang stole makeup from an Ulta Beauty store in suburban Chicago and posted Instagram videos of themselves ransacking the store. They also took photos in the dressing rooms of the woman working there.

Nineteen people were charged with a variety of crimes in connection with the group’s robbery spree in the Chicago suburbs.

At one point during the crime spree, three of the suspects posted videos and photos of themselves in the store’s dressing rooms with a 25-year-old woman who works there.

That woman, in turn, posted social media videos and photos of the suspects entering the store.

According to the Sun-Times newspaper, police did not identify the woman but said she is cooperating with the investigation.

Authorities said they are still trying to figure out why the group chose Ulta Beauty stores to rob.

Rezwan Ahmed, 18, who was charged with one count of aggravated robbery for the February 25 robbery at the Cermak Heights mall store, told police that when he opened the store’s register he saw “hundreds and hundreds of items.” He took 10 cents on the dollar and stuffed it in his pocket.

Another suspect, 23-year-old Hussein Ahmed, told police that he took a bin to the women’s dressing room and opened it. He said he cleaned that room then rushed the store’s cash register.

Nine people are accused of taking part in the February 7 robbery at the Lincolnshire Walmart. The 11th person was charged with taking part in the August 8, 2018, store robbery, according to police.

One suspect, 18-year-old Abdul Mussab, told police that the final robbery at an Ulta Beauty store in the Cermak Heights mall was “seemingly random.” He said that two people walked in and the next thing he knew he was surrounded by eight others, all of whom had their faces covered, according to a statement released by prosecutors.

The group went into the store, led by an 18-year-old with a gun, took all the cosmetics out of the display cases and then left. Mussab called the holdup “something strange.”

“You know what I’d rather see,” Mussab told the police. “I’d rather see that but to see these people, that’s scary.”

Authorities said the gang was able to get away with an undisclosed amount of cosmetics by covering the security system cameras in the stores.

Authorities recovered some of the stolen makeup and a loaded firearm.

According to prosecutors, each defendant will be arraigned on Tuesday.

Four of the defendants were charged with multiple counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon; eight are accused of multiple counts of armed robbery; and six are accused of multiple counts of retail theft.

Each defendant faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the main charge of aggravated robbery. Two of the defendants were charged with one count of felony armed robbery.

Two of the suspects accused of armed robbery were released from jail without bail. Bail was set at $100,000 for six others.

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