Cops: Cross-dressing muggers charged with additional attacks

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Two men who prosecutors said were dressed as women when they mugged two people in November 2011 near Lincoln Park Zoo have been charged with a pair of additional attacks that authorities said happened the month before, police said.

Brandon Arnold and Michael Burns, who are already in custody in Cook County Jail, were charged Thursday night with two counts of felony robbery for mugging two women in their 20s in the Lincoln Park neighborhood on Oct. 22, 2011 police said.

At least one of the two victims, who are 21 and 22, contacted authorities when they saw Chicago Tribune news reports last fall and recognized Burns and Arnold as the men who allegedly robbed them in the 3700 block of North Southport Avenue police said.

Further details about the October incident were not available immediately.

Burns, 22, and roommate Arnold, who is 24, of the 6800 block of South Aberdeen Street, were ordered held on bails of $100,000 each on armed robbery and attempted armed robbery charges after the Nov. 25, 2011 muggings that happened near Lincoln Park Zoo, authorities said.

Court records say the pair approached a 16-year-old girl as she walked past an alley in the 2300 block of North Lincoln Park West around 2:24 p.m.

Prosecutors said Arnold asked the girl for directions, and then raised a can of pepper spray and said, "Give me your camera or I'll mace you."

The girl gave up her camera, then Arnold allegedly demanded the girl's iPhone and ran off with Brandon down Fullerton Avenue.

Five minutes earlier, prosecutors said Arnold and Burns had attacked a man about half a mile away in the 2600 block of North Cannon Drive, prosecutors said.

The victim said one of the men grabbed him from behind and tried to take his wallet, but the man was able to wrestle free.

Prosecutors said the man took off running with Arnold and Burns giving chase. The two alleged muggers gave up as the victim outran them. When he had enough distance from his attackers, the man called police on his cell phone.

rsobol@tribune.com

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