CHICAGO (CBS) — Businesses in the South Loop are on high alert after a series of burglaries.
Four stores–all within a mile of each other–were hit, CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports, and business owners are concerned the thief or thieves may hit again.
With what appears to be a towel hiding his face, surveillance video shows a thief looking around stealthily and then making his move, using a crowbar like tool to smash in the front door of South Loop Market.
He then disappears from the camera and goes to the back of the store. Seconds later, he reappears, cash box in hand, to make his getaway.
The whole crime is over in less than 25 seconds.
“It’s frustrating,” said Samir Kanan, owner of the South Loop Market. “Unfortunately, it happened.”
And he’s not the only business owner who woke up this morning to a costly mess in the South Loop.
Further south on Michigan Avenue, Ms. Catwalk’s Boutique was also hit by a smash-and-grab thief.
Police cordoned off the business while waiting for the owner to arrive.
And on Cermak Road, two more South Loop businesses were targeted: Mufflers 4 Less and the Wabash-Cermak Currency Exchange.
The glass is bulletproof, but that didn’t stop the thief from breaking it in an unsuccessful attempt to get in the exchanges back room.
Kanan said the fact that all four businesses are within a mile of each other leads him to wonder if the same thief or thieves targeted each storefront.
“It’s a shame. I hope he’s caught so this doesn’t continue to happen in the neighborhood,” he said. “[It’s a] good chance it’s the same guy. If not, the same group of guys.”
Kanan hopes showing the video may lead to an arrest, because until the thief is caught, he fears his small businesses, which have been hit before, will be hit again and again.
“You know the way things are looking, I’m pretty sure it could and probably will happen again,” Kanan says.
At least one other business owner had a working surveillance system. But the Currency Exchange owner had yet to look through his video surveillance to see if the same thief who smashed his way into his shop also hit the South Loop Market.