CHICAGO (CBS) — Business owners in Chicago are stepping up security and bracing for the next crash-and-grab. It’s been the trend all week long. Vehicles are being used to ram into businesses, so burglars can get inside.
The latest happened Saturday morning at Urban Jungle, a vintage sneaker shop in Wicker Park.
As CBS 2’s Noel Brennan reports, the owner was left cleaning up a mess.
The crew of thieves took vintage clothes and more. And they left behind a giant hole and a stolen Jeep, which they used to ram their way inside.
It’s the sixth time something similar has happened in the past five days.
At 4:40 a.m., Urban Jungle, located near Paulina and Milwaukee, was suddenly open — to the business of burglars.
“It was a pretty quick thing. They were in here for about like four or five minutes,” the owner said.
It’s thein just a month. Back in September, burglars used a rock to break through one of the store’s windows, but a crash-in is a first.
“That’s for sure. Not a car. Never something like this,” he said.
The owner can’t say he didn’t see it coming.
“I feel like we were almost sitting ducks in a way,” he said.
Owners of similar clothing and sneaker shops in Chicago can relate. It’s a familiar story all over the map. On Tuesday it was Endless Supply Sneaker Boutique and The Little Black Dress in River North. On Wednesday it was Flee Club in Tri-Taylor. And Thursday it was Boneyard Chicago in West Town and Unique Chicago Sneaker Boutique in the South Loop.
That’s five crash-and-grabs before this one on Saturday.
“We know that these guys are striking at 4 a.m. to 5 a.m. We should really boost police presence,” the Urban Jungle owner said.
He said he lost $75,000 to $90,000 in clothes, and there is about $30,000 in damage to the shop.
But burglars who forced his store open won’t force him to close.
“We’re just trying to have a silver lining to this and put a smile on our face and still do business in the City of Chicago,” he siad.
The owner of the stolen Jeep said his vehicle was taken early Saturday morning. It was parked outside his home in Bucktown and used in the crash-and-grab just minutes later.