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DOWNTOWN PICKPOCKET ARRESTED
FOR 58th TIME

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Monday, August 16, 2010— A Chicago man with years’ worth of charges for picking people’s pockets now faces attempted robbery charges after an off-duty Cook County Sheriff’s court deputy stopped him from swiping a woman’s purse, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced Monday.

Reginald McNeil, 43, of the 8300 block of South Vernon Street, appeared for aReginald McNeil status hearing on Monday. His bond was set at $80,000 and he has remained in the Cook County Jail since his Aug. 9 arrest.

It was around 12:30 p.m. Aug. 9 when Deputy Otto Molina was having lunch inside a restaurant near Madison and Dearborn. He noticed McNeil walk in the rear door and pace several times before sitting in a chair without ordering food. A Homer Glen woman who was having lunch there hung her purse over the back of the chair and the 8-year deputy observed McNeil inch closer to the woman’s chair. McNeil opened the purse and appeared ready to place several items from inside into a white sweatshirt he was carrying. As Deputy Molina rose to confront McNeil, the victim noticed what he was doing and began screaming for help. McNeil continued pulling on her purse until Deputy Molina stopped him and detained him.

Chicago Police were notified and McNeil was taken into custody. Among the items found on him was a driver’s license belonging to a Connecticut woman.
Records show this is the 58th time McNeil has been arrested. He has been arrested more than 20 times for theft, attempted theft or pickpocketing – including twice this summer - nearly all of which have happened in the downtown area.

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