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Canada Goose parkas are winter’s ‘it’ coat — particularly for robbers in Chicago

A woman wearing a Canada Goose coat stops to photograph the company's banner at the New York Stock Exchange in 2017. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

It sounds like a dad joke that hypothermic Chicagoans are too busy shivering to laugh at:

How cold is it in Chicago this week?

It’s so cold that robbers are stealing Canada Goose jackets.

Seven times in the past 10 days, armed robbers in the Windy City have targeted unsuspecting people wearing the parkas that have become a must-have item for celebrities and fashionistas. Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said investigators have determined that at least three of the robberies are connected, although all of them could be linked.

No one has been arrested in the robberies, he said. But officers have increased patrols and are poring over surveillance footage in downtown Chicago.

A camera captured the robbery of a man wearing a Canada Goose coat near Chinatown on Wednesday night. The surveillance video was aired repeatedly by local news stations.

In the video, a white sedan stops on the street ahead of the victim, who then walks into the frame. A man hops out of the back seat, then starts tugging on the sleeve of the man’s coat. Then another man jumps out of the car — appearing to have a gun. The robbers punch the victim, and make off with his Canada Goose jacket.

And if being punched and threatened with a gun wasn’t bad enough for the unidentified victim, Wednesday night’s low in Chicago was 28 degrees.

That same night, according to the Associated Press, two armed men stole a Canada Goose coat from a man walking with a friend. And last week, several other people wearing Canada Goose coats met a similar frigid fate. They were robbed by men between Tuesday night and Thursday morning, according to the Chicago Tribune. In one of the robberies, the assailants followed the victim into an apartment building lobby.

For the uninitiated, Canada Goose is a 60-year-old outerwear company that started out producing heavy down-filled parkas and coats for people employed in bone-chilling outdoor professions, such as the Ontario Provincial Police, the Canadian Rangers and city police departments. But around the turn of the century, the company began growing in size and became affiliated with a certain kind of toasty luxury.

The jackets have appeared in a James Bond film. The model Kate Upton appeared on the 2013 cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition wearing a Canada Goose parka (but otherwise largely unshielded from the Antarctic cold). Rapper and Canadian-extraordinaire Drake collaborated with the apparel company on several versions of a jacket. Another rapper, Lil Uzi Vert, has a rap song called Canadian Goose.

All that has driven the price of the coats and parkas up. The Canada Coat, the most expensive on Canada Goose’s website on Friday, cost $1,695. That makes it more expensive to warm a Canada Goose coat-wearing Chicagoan’s body for the winter than it is to heat that person’s home.

The brand’s blizzard of popularity has not been lost on criminals. And the jackets joined Nike sneakers and Tide detergent as consumer goods that have become a metaphor for the power of supply and demand, with a felonious twist.

In London last year, moped-riding bandits shattered the glass of a Canada Goose store on Regent Street, threatened a security guard with a hammer and made off with coats in a smash-and-grab raid, according to the Evening Standard.

Still, it’s unclear whether the Chicago robbers have been influenced by the fact that temperatures have descended to “Little House on the Prairie” lows in recent days. Friday’s high was 8 degrees, but Saturday features a weekend warm-up: Temperatures will reach the teens.

Until the robbers are caught, Guglielmi said, the city’s police have been urging people to “maybe wear a different coat.”

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