Chicago Man Stole Baseball Caps & Clothes From Orland Mall to Pay For Mom's Tombstone & Sesame St Birthday Party: Cops

The man's partner-in-crime explained that they "didn't hurt anyone, they were sorry, they just needed the money," police said.

Brandon Phipps. Credit: Orland Park Police Department
Brandon Phipps. Credit: Orland Park Police Department
A Chicago man caught stealing baseball caps and clothes from the Express in the Orland mall explained that he was just trying to raise money to buy his dead mother a tombstone and to pay for a "Sesame Street-themed birthday party," police said.

The cops were apparently unimpressed by this excuse and hit 27-year-old Brandon Phipps of 543 N. Leamington Ave. with a felony retail theft charge.

Phipps' alleged accomplice, Tarkeye Tolbert, 38, of 1450 N. Sedgwick St. in Chicago, was also charged with felony retail theft.

Phipps stuffed three baseball caps, four pairs of men's jeans and four men's knit shirts into a white plastic bag and Tolbert carried it out of the store without paying for any of it, police said. The total haul was reportedly worth $559.40.

The pair spoke to the police after they were pinched.

"Brandon stated he is out of work and needed the money for his mother's headstone who had just passed away and a Sesame Street-themed birthday party," police said. "Brandon said this was the safest way he knew how to get money."

Tolbert told the cops "she is longtime friends with Brandon Phipps and went with him to help him out," police said.

Tolbert reportedly pointed out to police that she and Phipps "didn't hurt anyone, they were sorry, they just needed money."

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Mike May 21, 2014 at 08:09 AM
Here's another idea: Stay in your own neighborhood and steal from the stores there
Arthur Huff May 21, 2014 at 11:29 AM
I wonder if there is an arrest history with these two. Felony charge on a first arrest would seem odd. And right on Mike, if these people from Chicago really "need" to steal why do they have to come to Orland Park to do it?
Dm May 21, 2014 at 11:35 AM
Why is it that everyone from Chicago liked to shop in Orland? Why couldn't this guy go to Woodfield and steal?
frank May 21, 2014 at 07:44 PM
It's warmer on the "zouth side!"
Dr G May 26, 2014 at 11:05 AM
How about start a bonfire and cremate your grandmother for free. Save the money for flaming hot Cheetos


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