CHICAGO (CBS) — One day after another round of violent looting tore through downtown Chicago and the Magnificent Mile, Chicago Police announced the creation of a new task force to help hold looters responsible.

The Bureau of Detectives is seeking help from businesses and community leaders in gathering that information.

As CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey reported, the task force is hoping to use the pictures and videos to track the looters down.

Meanwhile, we spoke with minority business owner on the Magnificent Mile who said she had plenty of video evidence.
But she now worries that her business won’t survive long enough to see the looters punished.

Every crash of glass that rang on the surveillance camera footage from Monday morning felt like a punch to minority business owner and single mom of two Maleeha Zahid.

“In my mind, it feels like domestic terrorism,” Zahid said.

When she opened up her consignment shop, The Find, in November in the Shops at North Bridge mall at 520 N. Michigan Ave., she thought she had achieved her lifelong dream.

“At what point do you give up your dream; to be like: ‘You know what? This is not worth it?’” Zahid said.

Her twin brother, Mohammad Zahid, added, “It seems like they kind of hand an idea of what they were going for.”

Mohammad Zahid ran to the store early Monday morning. He stood outside the front door, pleading with looters to leave their mom-and-pop shop alone.

“That’s what I said,” he said. “When they would come up with metal rods, when they came up with metal poles ready to break a window, that’s what I said.”

But the looters got in through the window, and stole at least $35,000 worth of merchandise in a matter of hours.

When asked if she could recover from that, Maleeha Zahid said, “I really don’t think so.”

On June 7, Zahid joined in at a Black Lives Matter March with her kids.

She said that is why it was particularly painful when Black Lives Matter Chicago organizer Ariel Atkins equated Monday’s looting of luxury stores on the Magnificent Mile to “reparations.”

“You’re stealing from people that look like you; that march with you; that believe in equality; that believe in social justice,” Mohammad Zahid said.

As Maleeha Zahid tried to pick up the pieces of her dream job, she and her colleagues were just praying that such actions don’t become the norm.

“Who’s to say this doesn’t happen on Black Friday again?” said The Find manager Shahzad Zahid. “Who’s to say this doesn’t happen on Christmas again?”

Maleeha Zahid planned to head to the Near North District police station Tuesday night to submit the surveillance videos as evidence.

Anyone with videos, photos, or information regarding the looting incidents Monday morning is asked to call the task force at (312) 744-8263, or email 630lootingtaskforce@chicagopolice.org. The public can also always submit an anonymous tip at CPDtip.com.

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe has been set up in hopes of helping The Find recover.

Megan Hickey