Sad outcome but I mean c'mon, really?
Robbery suspect who left his phone number is shot by police
By Dan P. Blake | Tribune reporter
6:18 PM CDT, March 25, 2008
Robbers don't usually leave phone numbers behind, but on Monday, at a Northwest Side muffler shop, a man asked employees to give him a call when their boss came back to open a safe, an employee said Tuesday.
When the 18-year-old returned a few hours later, plainclothes Chicago police officers shot and wounded him, police said. Ruben Zarate of the 5100 of West Schubert Avenue was charged Tuesday with attempted armed robbery and aggravated assault of a police officer, the Cook County state's attorney's office said.
The incident started about 8 a.m., when the masked man, armed with a revolver, came in to Velasquez Mufflers For Less at 2600 N. Laramie Ave. and began demanding money, said Jose Sida, 37, a mechanic.
Employees told him they had little money and couldn't open the safe, so the man left two phone numbers for them to call when the owner returned with the combination, Sida said.
"He said, 'You guys better call me because otherwise I'm going to come back to shoot you,'" Sida said.
Instead, an employee called Chicago police.
Officers dressed in plainclothes came to the shop and told employees to call the man, Sida said. The man returned about noon, wearing the same mask and black clothing, Sida said. He also appeared to be armed with the same gun, Sida said.
The officers told employees to get to the back of the shop when the man came and at least one ended up shooting him.
Mark Payne, a spokesman for the Independent Police Review Authority, said the man was treated at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center for a gunshot wound. He confirmed that his agency was investigating the police-involved shooting but said that the inquiry would take six months to complete and that he could not release any details.
Police also declined to provide details of the shooting. Zarate is expected to appear for a bond hearing Wednesday at which more details could be released.
Sida said the teen's idea to leave his phone numbers was "stupid," but said employees were just following police instructions to call him back.
Employees now are worried the man's friends may return to get back at the shop employees for calling police.
"We followed police instructions, otherwise he would have come back for sure [to rob us]," Sida said.