When a crew from CBS’ Atlanta affiliate left their rental car running to cover activity outside musician R. Kelly’s Chicago studio, it took less than a minute for someone to steal the key fob, they told the Tribune.
Officers responded around 11:50 p.m. Sunday to a theft report in the 200 block of North Justine Avenue, Chicago police said.
Police said they were told someone got out of a black SUV, went into a 2018 Chevy Malibu and took the keys from inside. The suspect then got back into the SUV and took off south on Justine. Police said no arrests had been made.
R. Kelly’s recording studio at 219 N. Justine Ave. has been the subject of recent headlinesafter the city claimed it is being used illegally as a living space.
Jonathan Carlson, chief investigative reporter for CBS in Atlanta, told the Tribune he and a colleague were reporting a story on R. Kelly and his recording studio when a large group of people left the building.
The driver’s side window was open, the Malibu was running and they were steps away, in between the studio and the rental car parked just south of the alley that borders it, Carlson said.
The reporter turned around and saw someone inside the Malibu, he said. Carlson also noticed that a black Audi SUV without noticeable license plates had come out of the alley and parked alongside their car.
He started to run at the rental car and the stranger escaped into the passenger side of the SUV, which then sped off, he said.
“We had to jump out of the car to film what was going on and that’s when somebody took advantage of it,” Carlson said.
It happened very quickly, he said. Both men said they were physically OK, and had noticed nothing missing besides the keys, the only set they were given.
Even without keys in the ignition, the Malibu’s lights were still on and the car still seemed like it was running. The CBS crew thought about driving it to the rental company, but then the car died with the window still down. Finally, around 1:30 a.m., they called a Lyft.
Without divulging too much about the story they’re working on, Carlson said they had seen the SUV in the area previously during the night and believe whoever took the key fob targeted them.
“We were here to uncover the truth about what’s going on here and what we saw this past evening, what we witnessed and what you’ll see on the news tomorrow night, was disturbing,” Carlson said. “And what quickly happened to us in the process of the melee that was happening outside here was even more disturbing. But it’s not going to stop us from showing what was going on here.”
Carlson tweeted about what had happened, saying they had confronted “who we believe to be R. Kelly as he was whisked out of his Chicago recording studio late Sunday night.”
Photo Credit: CBS Chicago – CBS Local