CHICAGO (CBS) — First there was no indoor dining and staff cutbacks, and now they’re targets for robbery. A restaurant owner says it’s just too much, and she’s not alone.
The Jefferson Tap and Grille is a neighborhood bar and restaurant that can’t serve the neighborhood like it used to. Owner Jodi Agee says the man who robbed them took advantage of that, and now she is warning others.
“It’s heartbreaking and infuriating, and so just mentally taxing,” said Agee. “Just one more thing we have to put up with.”
It’s just one more thing when just staying in business has been hard enough, Agee said of the robbery this week.
“Definitely knew what he was doing, so we were cased,” she said.
It happened in the middle of the day. The man behind it was caught on surveillance cameras.
“He tried to get into the office, which thankfully is locked,” Agee said.
He can be seen entering a back room and rummaging through all of the bags he can before leaving through the emergency exit and taking off with staff members’ wallets.
“It’s freaking my staff out. We are already so thinly staffed,” Agee said. “We’re all kind of reaching the end of our ropes.”
She says calling the past few months rough does not even begin to cover it. Business is cut in half and payroll is at a bare minimum.
“Just to do more harm to good people? It’s disgusting to me,” she said.
They are not alone.
The day after they were robbed, two men hit Half Sour on Printer’s Row, where according to the Chicago Police Department, a 30-year-old man was threatened with a gun in the alley outside before he was robbed. It happened in the 700 block of South Clark Street shortly after 8 p.m. The victim did not hand over his property when the thieves demanded it, and after a brief struggle one of the men took his property. Those men fled, but officers were able to chase down one suspect and place him into custody.
“It feels like it can’t get much worse, and then to have predators out there just waiting to take advantage of an already bad situation,” Agee said.
The President of the Illinois Restaurant Association weighed in on this, calling these crimes against vulnerable businesses disturbing.
They are tracking these investigations.
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