Chicago Police are on the hunt for a group of robbers who struck several times Wednesday on and near Michigan Avenue.
Among the businesses they hit - Chili's at Ontario and State, Emerald Loop Bar and Restaurant near Wabash and Wacker, and a Corner Bakery near Michigan and Illinois.
In exclusive video obtained by FOX Chicago News, the robbers are seen placing paper on top of customers' belongings at the Emerald Loop, then running off with the goods as the general manager starts to chase them out.
"They looked like they were hoping to do some pick pocketing or upset our customers," said Charles O'Keeffe, the General Manager of Emerald Loop, "Afterwards some customers told me that they knew they were going to be robbed, so they put their phones in their pockets, grabbed their purses. They could see and understand what I was doing."
Here's how victims describe how the thieves operate:
Several teens walk in, and at first only want to ask for you to contribute money for a cause.
In the meantime, one of them grabs your cell phone and takes off.
Kevin Tobin and his brother fell victim to one of these flash mob robberies today, as well.
He tells us, "They came up and really made an aggressive solicitation for like basketball team sponsorship. It was aggressive. It was so over the top, we were both like, something's up here."
Within a matter of 60 seconds, the robbers were off with his brother's iPhone.
"Now this is kind of so over the top, that now you're like, now I can't even listen to somebody making a solicitation anymore because they might be trying to steal stuff. So, everybody loses."
As for the Emerald Loop, the manager says he's now considering adding addtional security during lunch hour to make sure something like this doesn't happen again.