CHICAGO (CBS) — The Back of the Yards supermarket owned by Francisco “Pancho” Aranda, who was found dead in the trunk of his car in his Crete Township home after a home invasion last week, was broken into in the past, and some of the break-ins were well researched.
Supermercado La Raza, located in the 1600 block of West 47th Street, reported three burglaries to police in less than two years. The offenders were able to make it out with more than $6,000 from the cash register; and stole lottery tickets, broke into an ATM, and stole money from video gaming machines.
The burglars became bolder over time. One man entered the store through an air duct after removing the covering and crawling through a ceiling tile into the store. The burglar involved in the most recent heist in March 2019 forced himself through a rear door and disabled the security cameras before looting the store.
Police reports indicate that some of these break-ins were well researched. Only one investigation has resulted in an arrest. That man is currently serving a five-year prison sentence and is scheduled for release in November 2020.
Will County authorities say Aranda, 63, was specifically targeted in the June 2 home invasion when two masked men approached him outside his unincorporated Crete Township home and then forced him through the door. He and his wife were both bound and placed inside the trunk of their 2003 Chevrolet Impala.
Aranda kicked through the back seat, allowing his 59-year-old wife to crawl through the opening. By the time investigators found them hours later, he had died.
Deputies went to the home in the 26000 block of South Klemme Road the next morning for a welfare check after a relative said the man and his wife had not shown up to work and were not answering their phones, a release from the sheriff’s office states.
Aranda was pronounced dead on the scene. Investigators said they are still waiting for toxicology results, which will take weeks, to determine the cause of Pancho’s death.
It does not appear there were any surveillance or home security cameras nearby.
Family said Aranda’s wife suffered severe bruising.
The Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council is aware of the concerns at Supermercado La Raza. They say business security is a huge concern. That’s why they’re in the beginning stages of a program that would help some business owners pay for security cameras that are directly connected to the city’s Office of Emergency Management.