CHICAGO (CBS) — A 38-year-old man from Hammond, Indiana has been charged with stealing $1 million worth of luxury watches during a robbery at a Gold Coast car dealership in December.
Police Superintendent David Brown said Carlos Valiant has been charged with theft and burglary, after he was identified as one of two men who robbed luxury car dealership Perillo Automotive on December 11. The dealership sells Bentley, Rolls Royce, Maserati and other brands of luxury cars, as well as high-end watches and jewelry.
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“As you know, a number of cities, including Chicago, have seen an increase in organized retail theft, including smash and grab type thefts in recent months. Popular retail lanes across the city, as well as small businesses, are feeling the impact, as are our neighborhoods,” Brown said.
Brown said Valiant and another man entered the dealership shortly after noon on Dec. 11, smashed a glass display case and stole five watches worth $1 million.
Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said one of the two robbers had a weapon, likely a mace, and some people inside the store had concealed carry permits, and when they pulled out their weapons, the thieves fled the store. Valiant fled while the second suspect got into a speeding car.
Detectives spent a month investigating the case and, by reviewing surveillance video, were able to follow him as he fled and changed his clothes, before crossing a Chicago River bridge and meeting someone. ‘one across the bridge, asking to use it. person’s phone to make a call. Deenihan said detectives were able to locate the person and trace the number Valiant called in Indiana, which helped police identify him and obtain a warrant for his arrest.
Valiant was extradited from Indiana to Chicago on Thursday and was scheduled to appear in bond court on Friday.
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The theft prompted an angry response from dealership owner Joe Perillo, who called on Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to do more about the recent increase in smash-and-grab style robberies at high-end stores.
“A city that I love and everyone loves to visit is going to become a wasteland if they don’t stop this. We’re going to have people leaving this city – they’re moving now – just wanting to be safe,” he said. Perillo said in December “They come into my business, smashing the windows. And a guy stands with a gun. And we have to make that happen. Enough is enough.”
Perillo wants it to end and thinks it starts in Chicago. He said Cook County prosecutors and city leaders must hold the criminals accountable.
“He’s just a fool who keeps doing things the same way and expecting different results. If the mayor and Kim Foxx don’t do anything to control this, it’s not going to get better. will get worse,” he said.
Experts told CBS 2 that burglaries like this could affect tourism and make people hesitant to come downtown.
It’s the last thing Perillo wants in the city he loves and calls home.
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“But right now it’s turning into PalookaVille,” he said.