Jeweler Beaten In Sauganash Home Invasion
Father, 14-Year-Old Son Bound With Tape
UPDATED 10/28/10 4:36 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – Police are looking for two armed men who forced their way into a home in the Northwest Side’s Sauganash neighborhood, tied up a father and his son with tape and viciously beat the father before taking off with a few items.
CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports around 9:15 p.m. Wednesday, two armed men forced their way into the home in the 6300 block of North Kildare Avenue and bound a 57-year-old man and his 14-year-old son with duct tape, according to police.
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Sources identified the man as Shai Miller, president of Miller’s Jewelry Supply on Wabash Avenue in Jewelers’ Row, according to filings with the Secretary of State’s office.
But it’s not clear at this time of robbery was the motive.
A police source says the victims were forced to lie on the kitchen floor. While one offender viciously kicked and beat the father by repeatedly striking him in the face, the other ransacked the home. The teenage son was not injured.
“I saw one gentleman getting taken away on a stretcher in one of the Chicago Fire Department ambulances,” said neighbor Patrick Yan.
The robbers then took “miscellaneous items’’ before fleeing, according to police News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro.
Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports that jewelry was taken. Police say a painting and silverware were also stolen from the home.
No shots were fired during the incident, which is classified as a home invasion, Alfaro said.
A police source says Miller’s son managed to free himself and call police.
Miller was taken to the intensive care unit at Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston in critical condition, with bleeding in his brain. As of Thursday, he was on life-support with “massive brain trauma,” according to a source.
The hospital declined to comment Thursday.
“They asked for complete and uttermost privacy during this tragic event,’’ St. Francis spokeswoman Evelyn O’Connor said.
News of the attack shocked many living in the quiet neighborhood.
“We’ve been living here for about three years, and this is the first time I’ve ever seen anything like that happen around here or heard of anything like that,” said neighbor Cindy Pavon.
“We have an alarm system, and I have a dog, but you know, I have a 10-year-old daughter in my house, and my wife, and so obviously you’re concerned,” said Yan. “You’re concerned for the safety of your family.”
Some of Miller’s colleagues and neighbors believe his attackers may have known he owned a jewelry store, and targeted him because of it.
“For somebody to come in like that when he’s home, and then to tie him up and beat him, that kind of indicates to me that they were trying to get something out of him, other than just take his stuff,” said neighbor Michael Schular.
Evidence technicians spent much of the night inside the home gathering evidence to take back to the crime lab. Police were dusting for fingerprints outside the home on Thursday morning.
Police are looking into the possibility that Miller was targeted because of his business, but his neighbors aren’t taking any chances.
“I’m pretty worried now. I’m pretty worried. I’m going to make sure my doors are locked always,” said Pavon.
“Obviously I’m thinking about my security more and more, as these things happen,” said Schular.
Miller remains hospitalized in critical condition. Family members did not want to talk about what happened.
No one has been arrested for the crime.
CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli and Mai Martinez, Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya, and the Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.