By Bob Uphues
A 22-year-old LaGrange man who claimed last month that he was robbed at gunpoint of his jacket, shoes and $40 in cash during a drug deal gone wrong behind a Brookfield currency exchange made the whole thing up, Brookfield police have determined.
After reviewing surveillance camera video and interviewing witnesses, the man reportedly confessed that he staged the events on the night of April 4 in order to pick up some easy money from a friend.
"He stated he was never robbed at gunpoint and was just trying to stage the event to get money from his friend," said Brookfield police in an emailed statement.
The man had called a friend just before 11 p.m. on April 4, claiming he'd been robbed after agreeing on SnapChat to meet someone behind a currency exchange in the 9400 block of Ogden Avenue to buy a bag of cannabis for $20.
The man told his friend that he was confronted by three men, one of whom pulled out a handgun and began kicking him before taking his jacket, Air Force One gym shoes, and cash.
Police learned through interviews that the friend had dropped off the man at the currency exchange and that he'd given the man $40 to buy a THC cartridge while he was also buying cannabis for himself. In the meantime, the 22-year-old ditched his jacket and shoes, and when the friend returned to pick him up, he told his friend of the alleged robbery.
Shortly afterward, the friend flagged down a Brookfield police officer on patrol to report what had happened, which the 22-year-old apparently hadn't counted on.
He told police the offenders ran across Ogden Avenue to a getaway car waiting in the alley behind the car wash at Ogden and Eberly.
Police began to suspect early on that there were problems with the story since surveillance video from the car wash didn't capture anything resembling those events.
Police subsequently charged the 22-year-old man with one count of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report.