Texas bus company sues Chicago over migrant drop-offs
FOX Business’ Kelly Saberi reports on Texas bus companies suing the sanctuary city of Chicago.
A Chicago suburb has been battered by a string of recent crimes committed by migrants who live in or near the Windy City.
From Oct. 23 to Jan. 17, a total of 47 migrants were arrested in Oak Brook, Illinois, mostly for alleged property crimes, according to Brian Strockis, the chief of police for the Oak Brook Police Department.
Most of the migrants who were arrested were charged with retail theft and burglary, Strockis told Fox News Digital.
The latest incident involved an Ecuadorian migrant who resides in Chicago and is accused of stealing more than $3,000 worth of merchandise from retail stores and evading Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) supervision by cutting off his electronic monitoring device.
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From Oct. 23 to Jan. 17, a total of 47 migrants were arrested in Oak Brook, Illinois, for alleged crimes, according to Brian Strockis, the chief of police for the Oak Brook Police Department. (Getty Images | DuPage County State’s Attorney)
On Jan. 13, Oak Brook officers responded to a retail theft call from a local Macy’s store. Upon arrival, and after conducting an investigation into what took place, officers found that 32-year-old Jaime Ubaldo Obando-Andrade entered the store and put on a jacket with an approximate value of $395 and left without paying for it.
Following a search of Obando-Andrade’s vehicle, officers “found approximately $3,000 worth of suspected stolen merchandise as well as rolls of tinfoil,” according to a press release from the office of DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin.
Additionally, Berlin’s office noted that officers located an ICE monitoring device that Obando-Andrade “had allegedly cut off,” as well as a fake Washington driver’s license that featured the defendant’s photograph with a different name.
“It is very simple, if you steal in DuPage County, you will be apprehended, charged and prosecuted.”
Obando-Andrade, who first appeared in court on Sunday, has been charged with one count of burglary, a class 2 felony, and one count of retail theft, a class 3 felony. Earlier this week, it was announced that Judge Michael Burton had granted the state’s motion to deny pre-trial release for the defendant. Obando-Andrade is due back in court next month.
“This was an excellent example of solid police work and looking beyond the initial incident,” Strockis said of the case involving Obando-Andrade. “These retail crimes involving migrant offenders are part of a bigger criminal enterprise, and we are working closely with our federal partners to thoroughly investigate these cases.”
Jaime Ubaldo Obando-Andrade, an Ecuadorian migrant who resides in Chicago, is accused of stealing more than $3,000 worth of merchandise from retail stores and evading Immigration and Customs Enforcement supervision by cutting off his electronic monitoring device. (DuPage County State’s Attorney)
Offering praise for those who apprehended Obando-Andrade, Berlin vowed to continue efforts to protect Oak Brook businesses and said, “Contrary to popular belief, retail theft is not a victimless crime and has a far-reaching effect on the entire community.”
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“It is very simple, if you steal in DuPage County, you will be apprehended, charged and prosecuted,” he added.
The arrest of Obando-Andrade comes after several other migrants have been accused of taking part in various crimes in the Chicago suburb.
Last October, two Venezuelan migrants — 28-year-old Luis Mendez-Gomez and 23-year-old Frank Montez-Davila — were arrested after they allegedly stole nearly $3,000 in high-end cosmetics from the Oak Brook Macy’s store.
Two Venezuelan migrants — 28-year-old Luis Mendez-Gomez and 23-year-old Frank Montez-Davila — were arrested in October after they allegedly stole nearly $3,000 in high-end cosmetics from the Oak Brook Macy’s store. (DuPage County State’s Attorney)
After entering the store, the pair of migrants filled a bag with 16 high-end fragrances and a pair of pants, all totaling $2,832.50. The two men, who were said to currently live in Chicago, were observed by an Oak Brook patrol officer and later detained during a traffic stop on Oct. 31.
Following their arrest, both men, who were charged with burglary and retail theft, were released on pre-trial release after a judge denied the state’s motion to hold them in jail.
“We are firm in our efforts against organized retail crime as we endlessly protect our community. We want everyone to be aware of the increase in criminal activity from the migrant community coming from Chicago,” Oak Brook Deputy Chief of Police Reid Foltyniewicz said at the time.
One week prior to the arrests of Mendez-Gomez and Montez-Davila, another pair of Venezuelan migrants were arrested and subsequently charged with burglary and retail theft after they separately stole clothing items from the Macy’s store.
The Oct. 23 incident involved Abel Barrios-Estava and Rafael Mata-Torres. Barrios-Estava, according to Fox 32, was arrested after a foot pursuit, while Mata-Torres was taken into custody by the store’s loss prevention officers and Oak Brook officers.
An Oct. 23 incident involved Abel Barrios-Estava, left, and Rafael Mata-Torres. (DuPage County State’s Attorney)
Both men, who were ordered not to enter another Macy’s store, were later released from custody and fitted with an electronic monitoring device as a condition of their bond, the outlet noted.
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Despite the string of recent migrant arrests, Strockis told Fox News Digital that he doesn’t believe that retailers in the area are “being targeted any more than any other location.”
“I will say that we have motivated officers that are determined to keep our community safe and our relationships with area loss prevention agents have never been stronger,” he said. “I’m thankful for the hard work our officers do every day. This department is extremely proactive and technology-driven. The result of that policing philosophy is a lot of arrests, recovered stolen property and many headlines which would lead you to believe we are being targeted. Oak Brook is a very safe place to live, shop, dine and play, and we have every intention of keeping it that way.”
Spokespeople for the Department of Homeland Security and ICE did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment about their efforts to protect retailers and small businesses from theft by migrants, or their accounting for migrants who currently reside in the U.S. who choose to remove their monitoring devices.
Several American cities have been forced to deal with the effects of the nationwide migrant crisis as thousands of migrants arrive at the southern border each day.
The state of Texas began flying migrants to sanctuary cities in December, with the first flight arriving in Chicago. Fox was told at the time that the first flight left El Paso on Dec. 20 with 120 migrants on board and arrived at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport later in the day. Sources in Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s office told Fox that all migrants signed voluntary waivers, as they do when bussed.
A group of migrants receives food outside the migrant landing zone during a winter storm in Chicago on Jan. 12. (KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
The decision was partially in response to Chicago’s interference of the buses traveling to the sanctuary city. The city has launched lawsuits against companies transporting the migrants.
Nearly 34,000 migrants have arrived in the sanctuary city of Chicago since beginning data collection, with over $156 million spent on housing and care since October 2022, according to the city.
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While running for office last year, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson was in full support of migrants coming to the city.
“Chicago is a sanctuary city. As such, we must always resist attempts to pit communities against each other and extend this sanctuary promise to everyone who needs it in our city — both long-time residents and newcomers alike,” his website stated.
Fox News Digital’s Michael Dorgan, Adam Shaw and Elizabeth Heckman contributed to this report.
Kyle Morris covers politics for Fox News. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @RealKyleMorris.