As Chicago’s weather dipped down into record-low temperatures, a string of armed robberies left some people without their coats — their Canada Goose parkas, to be specific.
The winter clothing company Canada Goose is notorious for its warm, yet high-priced coats with the brand’s easily identifiable patch — a reverse image of the North Pole, with red latitude and longitude lines, and the words “CANADA GOOSE” and “ARCTIC PROGRAM” in red, along with 10 red maple leaves circling the image.
It’s common to see students at any of Loyola’s campuses sporting Canada Goose gear, so much so that there’s even an anonymously run Instagram page — @luc_geese — with nearly 2,000 followers whose purpose is “documenting the migration of the Canadian Geese within the Loyola Chicago area,” the bio of the account reads.
There were seven reported armed robberies late last month where a Canada Goose coat was stolen, according to Chicago Police Department (CPD) officer Norma Pelayo. After the first three robberies, a community release was posted on CPD’s website Jan. 16, warning citizens in the Wentworth and Near North police districts, where the first three incidents occurred.
Two of the robberies took place late at night Jan. 15 near Jackson Park on the 5300 block of South Cornell Avenue and near Gold Coast on the 00 block of West Chestnut Street. Another happened early morning Jan. 16 near Jackson Park on the 5100 block of South Harper Avenue, according to the community release.
The release describes the two to three offenders of these first three robberies as black men in their late teens or early 20s, wearing dark clothes, driving a dark colored Audi sedan and armed with handguns. CPD can’t confirm whether it’s the same offenders for all seven robberies.
Three other robberies occurred during the morning rush hour Jan. 17, on the 900 block of North Wells, 900 block of North Larrabee and 1100 block of North Wolcott, according to Pelayo. The seventh incident happened on the evening of Jan. 23 near South Loop on the 200 block of West Cullerton.
The most expensive item on the Canada Goose website is a men’s coat, costing $1,695. In addition to coats, the company also sells hats, gloves and scarves, which range from $95-$325. These coats still resell for several hundred dollars on bargain sites like eBay, where a coat that costs $895 on Canada Goose’s website was resold for $350.
Isaac Rivera, a junior biology major, said he’s owned his Canada Goose coat for a little over a year.
“I started seeing people have it and I just thought, ‘It’s a nice coat,’” the 20-year-old said. “I needed a new coat at the time, so I decided to buy one because they’re nice, they’re high quality, and it seemed to be a trend going on around campus and in Chicago.”
Rivera said he isn’t too worried about the noticeable brand patch on his coat sleeve making him a target for robbers.
“I’ve been living in the city for about ten years, so I’m familiar with the parts of the areas, you know, how to really maneuver around the areas,” said Rivera.
Meredith Brown, an 18-year-old first-year student, said she received her Canada Goose coat about a year ago as a gift from her parents before moving to Chicago.
Brown said she likes that her coat keeps her warm, but said she’s slightly concerned about the recent robberies.
“If I’m by myself at night, then maybe I’m a little scared,” the undecided business major said.
Aside from these robberies, Canada Goose has been in the public spotlight before because of animal rights groups — including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) — protesting the company’s use of goose feathers and coyote fur to make their coats.
Area Central CPD has sent more police officers to the areas where the robberies occurred, according to public information officer Sally Brown.
PETA and Canada Goose didn’t respond to requests for comment.