Nation & World

Expensive coats are being stolen right off people’s backs in Chicago, police say

Chicago police are looking for thieves who are jumping people wearing expensive Canada Goose down-filled parkas and stealing them at gunpoint. The jackets cost from $500 to $1,700. (Instagram, Canada Goose)
Chicago police are looking for thieves who are jumping people wearing expensive Canada Goose down-filled parkas and stealing them at gunpoint. The jackets cost from $500 to $1,700. (Instagram, Canada Goose) Screengrab from Instagram Canada Goose page

People wearing luxury, down-filled Canada Goose coats this frigid winter are being robbed of their pricey outerwear by thieves in Chicago.

The robbers really want the status coats — they’re using guns to get them, according to CBS Chicago.

The “power parkas” sell for $495 to $1,695, Fortune reports.

“At least six times in just eight days, offenders have confronted victims and forced them to turn over their jackets. In each case, the victims were robbed at gunpoint,” police said, the CBS affiliate reported.

Surveillance video caught one of the robberies last week. Two men, apparently traveling in a white Mercedes, ganged up on a man wearing a Canada Goose coat and after a brief struggle pulled it right off him, then punched him in the face, NBC Chicago reported.

“Twenty minutes later another man was robbed of his Canada Goose coat nearby,” the TV station reported.

Canada Goose coats are marketed as lightweight coats with heavyweight warmth. “We are a function-first company,” Canada Goose writes on its website.

The brand has been a favorite among celebrities — and a PETA boycott target for its use of fur. In 2015 Vanity Fair ran a photo gallery showing Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Stone, Claire Danes and Daniel Craig all swaddled in Canada Goose.

The company’s website notes that the coats made their “on-screen debut” in 2004 in the movies “The Day After Tomorrow” and “National Treasure.”

“The Toronto-based brand says the jackets keep people warm in minus-13 degree Fahrenheit weather — and even added a 5-degree dressing room/freezer into its Montreal store to prove it,” writes Fortune. “The coveted brand has appealed to consumers, thieves, and investors alike.”

Howard O’Toole, who owns one of the coats, told CBS Chicago that he removed the coat’s iconic patch because he didn’t want to give the company free advertising. Now he figures that makes him less of a target, too.

But Terry Kraus, who told CBS he saved his money to buy one of the coats, said he’s keeping the patch. “Hell no, I paid too much for it to remove that,” he said.

In one case the purloined parkas did not provide the perp’s perceived payoff.

According to WGN in Chicago, one of the coats they stole was a knockoff.

Mike Lockhart volunteers for Project Warmth in memory of his mother who was homeless and died of hypothermia in 2011 in Lawrence. On Saturday he talks about the importance of staying warm in the winter at Oak Park Mall.

  Comments