Jana Erwin was trying to help who she thought was a teenager in need of help when she was robbed of her iPhone and then denied the chance to reclaim her property.
Erwin was on a busy street in Houston, Illinois when she was approached by a teenager who asked to use her iPhone 6. "He needed to use the phone to call his mom,” she said. Erwin initially offered to call his mother for him. "I said I'll call your mom for you. What's the number? I did and a man answered the phone," said Erwin.
Erwin then handed the phone over and the teen took off running.
"I was mad. I was really mad," said Erwin. She ran after the teen and yelled for help, but none came. “[I said] ‘Someone call the police, I've been robbed.’ Nothing. Everyone just kind of looked.”
After notifying the local police department, Erwin used the “Find My iPhone” app to track down her iPhone. "It showed that my phone was right around the corner. I look at it and I realize it's at Starbucks,” she said.
After calling the police again, Erwin decided to check the Starbucks on her own. The suspect was there with a young lady. "I decided to grab my phone. And when I did the girl instantly said he was selling me the phone I don't know him, I don' know anything. I was screaming to the phone in Starbucks, please someone call the police,” she said.
A barista intervened, but instead of assisting Erwin, the employee asked her to leave. “[They said] ‘I’m sorry ma'am, you have to go. You have to go. You can't do this here’.”
Erwin finally did get her phone back, but the suspect got away and she was disappointed no one helped her. A Starbucks spokesperson told Eyewitness News aid an employee at the store called authorities, and said employee and customer safety is their top concern.