CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s a one-man burglary spree. Two businesses within blocks of each other targeted in smash-and-grab thefts.
Chicago police said between March 10 to March 18, there were three business burglaries involving two business between 99th and 104th and Western. In each case someone smashed the window of a business.
Craig Patel closes his Town Armanetti Beverage Mart by 11:00 p.m., but his March 15 security video showed an after-hours visitor throw an elbow at the window.
That doesn’t break it, so he picks something off the ground and then tosses it at the glass.
“It’s very frustrating, you know,” Patel said. “We work like 10 hours a day. By the time you get home, and you get a phone call from the alarm company.”
Patel said the burglar reached through the broken glass, grabbed cigarettes, and walked off down 100th Street. What’s worse, Patel said a burglar broke another window on March 10 and stole bottles of liquor.
Police said they are investigating a similar smash-and-grab near 103rd and Western around 6:30 a.m. March 18.
“It’s a beautiful neighborhood. There’s police officers that live in the neighborhood and everything. I think these guys are coming from somewhere else,” Patel said.
CPD said it believes the same guy is responsible for all three burglaries, adding that they are looking for a man between 30 and 40 years old. He wears glasses and, as seen on a surveillance image, a New York Yankees hat. Investigators said, in at least one burglary, money was stolen.
“Three in that short time span is unusual,” said Susan Flood, of the Beverly Area Planning Association.
Flood said, despite the burglaries, the neighborhood is safe.
“Any crime in our community is unusual. We’re a very tight-knit community. We look out for each other,” she said.
Patel had a message for the burglar:
“Hey man, get a job. Get a real job like we all do.”
City records showed business burglaries within a half mile radius of 103rd and Western are actually down in recent years. There were 35 in 2016, 26 in 2017, and 24 in 2018.