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Busboy Arrested in Radio Thefts ‘Did Not Like Suburbanites’

July 17, 1987

CHICAGO (AP) _ A busboy at a snack shop says he stole at least 400 radios from expensive foreign cars parked at O’Hare International Airport because ″he did not like suburbanites″ who made fun of his Hispanic background, police said.

Police also recovered a scrapbook filled with ″befores and afters″ - photos of cars taken before and after the radios were stolen, said police Detective Sgt. Tony De Leonardis.

″This guy is obsessed,″ De Leonardis said Thursday. ″He didn’t like the treatment he got when he went to the suburbs, so he fought back through the type of cars they drive.″

Raymond Herrera, 22, who worked at an airport snack shop, was arrested Thursday after police received an anonymous tip.

De Leonardis said the thefts, about 10 per day, occurred over a six- to nine-month period and involved cars such as Mercedes, BMWs, Audis and Toyotas.

″He’s very industrious,″ De Leonardis said.

Once stolen, the radios were stamped with a special sticker the busboy had made up to guarantee they worked, De Leonardis said.

The sticker read, ″Buck - the Toyota-Cressida Bandit″ because the busboy stole mostly from that make and model, he said. ″Buck″ was a reference to Herrera, De Leonardis said.

Herrera sold the radios, worth $400 to $2,000, on the street or to middlemen, he said.

The busboy also is believed to have broken into cars parked near the posh East Bank Club health club in downtown Chicago and along the city’s Gold Coast neighborhoods on the North Side, De Leonardis said.

″He equated this type of vehicle with suburbanites, who he said made fun of him because of the way he dressed and such,″ the officer said.

Herrera was charged with 12 counts of burglary from an auto and one count of auto theft, De Leonardis said. He said additional charges would be filed as police matched up stolen radios with their owners.

Herrera was on probation for a 1985 conviction for burglary from an auto, De Leonardis said.

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