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CPD wants help finding men who robbed WWII Navy vet

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Updated: June 10, 2012 9:03PM

The Chicago Police Department wants the public’s help finding two men who choked and robbed an 86-year-old World War II veteran after they followed him home from a South Side bank and currency exchange.

The attack happened two months ago — April 3 — and investigators said they’ve had no luck tracking down the men who committed the “unspeakable” and “detestable” crime. Cook County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest.

The victim’s name has been withheld, but he told reporters Sunday he’s a Navy vet who served two years in the South Pacific. He said he’s grateful police are looking into his case when so many others are also victimized.

“I’m not the only one these things happen to,” he said. “I’m just one of thousands.”

A heavy set man appearing to talk on a cell phone followed the victim out of a bank at 79th and Cottage Grove Avenue in the video released by police. And the same man appears in security footage from a nearby currency exchange the victim visited next.

From there the victim said he went to a Target near 86th and Cottage Grove, and then he took a shuttle home. The driver helped him carry his bags into the multi-unit home where he lives. Meanwhile, two men approach from behind, having followed in what police believe is a silver 1996 Mercury Sable.

As the driver walks away, one man follows the victim into the building’s foyer. He grabs the victim and begins to choke him from behind. Then the second man enters and goes directly for the victim’s shoes — where the victim said he put the cash he picked up at the bank.

The thieves search the man, who passes out, and drop him like a doll once they have their money. They even let the door close on his head as they leave. On the way in and out, one of the men speaks briefly to the driver who brought the victim home.

The victim watched the video with reporters Sunday, offering no reaction while watching his attack. He said he’s lucky because he could have been stabbed or shot. And he said he trusts the Chicago Police Department to find the men. He said the thieves won’t stop until they’re caught.

And if they are, he said, he’d tell them “good riddance.”

Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call the Chicago Police Department at (312) 747-8382 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-535-STOP. They may also text a tip to CRIMES and type CPD before the tip information.

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