Police Investigate String Of Smash-And-Grab Burglaries In South Loop

CHICAGO (CBS) — Thieves broke into at least four businesses in the South Loop overnight, in a series of brazen burglaries.

It was not clear if the same thief or thieves hit all the stores, but the break-ins were very similar. One of the heists was caught on surveillance video, when someone smashed in the front door of the South Loop Market at 1720 S. Michigan Av.

Business owners were worried they’ll be targeted again after fixing the damage from the burglaries.

With what appears to be a towel hiding his face, a thief looked around him before using a crowbar-like tool to smash in the front door of the 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 really frustrating. You know they’re out there. You know it could happen any night,” said South Loop Market owner Samir Kanan.

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 boutique was also hit by a smash-and-grab thief. Police cordoned off the business while waiting for the owner to arrive.

Two more South Loop businesses were targeted on Cermak Road, including Mufflers 4 Less and the nearby Currency Exchange at Cermak and Wabash.

The glass at the Currency Exchange is bulletproof, but that didn’t stop the thief from breaking it in an unsuccessful attempt to get in the back room.

All four businesses are within a mile of each other, leading Kanan to wonder if the same thief targeted each storefront.

“I hope he’s caught so this doesn’t continue happening in our neighborhood” he said. “I think there’s a good chance that, if it’s not the same guy, it might be the same group of guys.”

Kanan said he hopes showing the video of the burglary at his store might 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 have been looking this summer, I’m pretty sure it could and probably will happen again,” Kanan said.

At least one other business owner had a working surveillance system, but the Currency Exchange owner had yet to look through his camera footage to see if the same thief who hit that business also hit the South Loop Market.

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