Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon.
REGINALD J. HOLZER, Judge, presiding. Affirmed.
MR. JUSTICE ENGLISH DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.
Theft from person. Ill Rev Stats (1965), c 38, § 16-1 (a).
After a bench trial, defendant was found guilty and sentenced to a term of 3 to 5 years.
Defendant was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
(1) Money allegedly taken from the victim was not properly identified.
(2) Defendant was not adequately identified as the robber.
(3) Defendant presented a reasonable excuse for his presence in the vicinity of his arrest.
Mrs. Mary Paul, for the State
On July 29, 1966, at approximately 4:30 p.m., she cashed a $74 check at a currency exchange near the corner of Madison Street and Damen Avenue in Chicago. She received six ten-dollar bills, two fives, and four ones, which she placed in her wallet. She left the currency exchange holding her wallet in her right hand and holding the hand of her six-year-old son with her left hand, and walked west on Madison to the intersection of Damen. The day was warm and sunny. As she was standing on the corner preparing to cross the street, she noticed defendant as he was crossing Madison Street towards her. At that time, she looked at his face. She identified defendant in court as that man, although when she saw him on the street he had a thin mustache but he did not have the goatee he was wearing in court. Defendant walked up to her as if he were going to pass, then jerked the wallet from her hand, and fled north on Damen. She began to scream and gave chase for about a half block, but she soon lost sight of him when he turned into the alley, because she was pregnant and couldn't run fast. As the man ran, he turned back to look at her. Another man, later known to her as a Mr. Simmons, ran after the one who had taken her wallet.
She next saw defendant about five minutes later near the corner of Warren and Hoyne Avenues. At that time, defendant was in the custody of Police Sergeant Michaelson. Mr. Simmons was there also. She told the officer, "That's the man that got my wallet." Defendant was searched and $74 was found in his pocket. She saw the money at that time, and it was in denominations of six tens, two fives, ...