CHICAGO (CBS) — The hope is the images on surveillance video will help catch three men wanted for a rash of crimes in a North Side neighborhood.
And not only have they been caught on cameras, but were chased off by an alderman during an attempted theft.
CBS 2’s Mai Martinez has the story from Roscoe Village.
The images were captured by surveillance cameras outside Commonwealth.
They’re monitored by the Roscoe Village Neighborhood Watch Committee.
As for the alderman, he just happened to be dining inside the restaurant when the suspects went in.
Police are looking for three men who allegedly tried to steal a man’s wallet inside Commonwealth around 8:30 Monday night.
Alderman Scott Waguespack was dining inside when the men walked in, and they immediately got his attention.
“Really fidgety. One sat right here. The other two were kind of going up and down the bar, going back and forth looking more suspicious than anything. And they went up to people and were either grabbing or trying to get their wallets,” said Waguespack.
He said one the suspects set his sights on a man’s wallet on a table toward the front the restaurant.
But when the man resisted and other people in the bar, including Waguespack, stood up to help, the suspects ran out and later tried to steal wallets at two other nearby bars.
According to Jason Elster with the Roscoe Village Neighborhood Watch Committee, the same men were caught on camera on Saturday inside Four Treys, where they did steal a man’s wallet.
“They started spending on those cards before they were cancelled,” said Elster.
He hopes the images captured by the neighborhood watch cameras at Commonwealth will help police catch the suspects.
Elster said with crime on the rise in Roscoe Village and less police officers patrolling these days, the neighborhood watch came up with the idea of a private network of cameras that police can access, if needed, to help fight crime.
“Our system worked perfectly. We caught not only the suspects arriving in a car, we caught the license plate of the car. We saw them get out to the car, enter commonwealth and then leave running,” said Elster.
Right now there are only a few cameras in the program, but the neighborhood watch hopes more businesses and people living in the area will add their cameras to that program.
As for the suspects, no arrests at this time.
Police are looking into the possibility that in addition to the four bars hit in Roscoe Village, the men might have tried to hit two others in Bucktown.