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Oak Park Bakery Robbed, Could Close For Business

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Oak Park Robber

A sketch of a suspect who robbed the Bleeding Heart Bakery in Oak Park and locked a clerk in a basement storeroom. (Credit: Oak Park Police)

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OAK PARK, Ill. (CBS) The Bleeding Heart Bakery in Oak Park was robbed this week, and there are now worries that it could close altogether as a result.

Police say a man walked into the bakery at 1010 North Blvd., close to the Oak Park Metra station, and demanded money from the cash register. No reports have indicated whether he had a weapon.

The woman handed over the money, but then the robber grabbed her and escorted her to the basement. There, he took more cash from the safe, and stole the woman’s cell phone and car keys, police said.

The suspect then locked the woman in a storeroom and walked out, leaving her trapped, police said.

The losses are estimated at $3,550.

The bakery posted a brief note on its Facebook page Tuesday, saying the bakery is closed and suggesting a possibility that it might not be reopening.

“I’m very sorry to say that our store will be closed for a few days as we recoup from last night’s robbery and reassess our business here,” the posting reads. “Please keep our employee who was attacked in your thoughts and we will keep you updated to a possible reopening.”

The posting drew 75 comments expressing sorrow and sympathy and calling the robbery “horrible news.”

A subsequent posting said: “Thank you so much to everyone for the outcry of support. Thank you.”

That posting drew many comments along the lines of, “Please don’t leave Oak Park.”

“Please don’t give up on Oak Park,” one Facebook user said. “There are many kind, good people here who would be sad to see you go.”

Meanwhile, Oak Park police Detective Cmdr. Ladon Reynolds said his department is pursuing leads.

Reynolds described the physical injuries to the clerk as “minor,” resulting from her being grabbed forcefully.

The robber is described as an African-American man about 24 years old, standing 5 feet 8 inches tall and a brown, zippered hooded jacket and a Louis Vuitton-style baseball cap.

The Oak Park location of Bleeding Heart Bakery has been open since 2009.

Bleeding Heart also sells “local, sustainable, punk rock pastry” at its bakeries at 1955 W. Belmont Ave. in the Roscoe Village neighborhood and 116 S. York St. in Elmhurst, and operates a bakery and café at 1916 W. Chicago Ave. in the West Town neighborhood.

“Our mission is to make good food in ways that support the local economy and the earth. When we opened shop in 2005, we used local, sustainable, and organic ingredients to do it. And we still do it today,” owners Michelle and Vinny Garcia say on their Web site.

The Oak Park Oak Leaves contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire.

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