Two East St. Louis men have been charged with stealing cellphones right out of the hands of people riding the MetroLink in Illinois.
Delas Carter, 23, of 1319 N. 59th St. and Roderick Roberson Jr., 21, of 687 N. 55th St., have both been charged by the St. Clair County State's Attorney with robbery and theft in connection with the Oct. 3 incident.
According to the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department, a man reported he had been riding the eastbound MetroLink train at 3 p.m. and holding his iPhone 4S phone in his hand when a man snatched the device from his hand and fled. The theft occurred as the train approached the Washington Park MetroLink station. The suspect was last seen running south on 54th Street.
About two hours later, another theft occurred when a man grabbed a woman's Galaxy S IV cellphone from her hand, a second suspect hit her hand, and both suspects jumped off the eastbound train when it arrived at the JJK MetroLink Station about 5 p.m. Both suspects fled the train on foot.
An investigation into the thefts by the MetroLink Dispatch/Security, the Sheriff's Department MetroLink Patrol and the Department Investigation Section identified Carter and Roberson as the suspects. Both men were located and arrested and are being held in the St. Clair County Jail. Carter's bail was set at $50,000 and Roberson's bail set at $40,000.
In view of the public, brazen thefts, St. Clair County Sheriff Richard Watson reminds people to be aware of their surroundings and exercise caution while using cellular phones in public places.