Video: Shoplifting mob hits Gold Coast 7-Eleven

Video grab shows one thief hopping the counter while three others raid shelves on Sunday afternoon. | Provided

Is it the crime of the century? Hardly.

But shoplifting mobs have been making life increasingly difficult for the hard-working people who own and operate convenience stores in Chicago’s downtown area.

And video footage secured by CWBChicago shows one of the theft teams at work on Sunday afternoon in the Gold Coast.

Surveillance images show seven young men entering the store at 1036 North Dearborn around 1:30 p.m. After checking things out, three of them step around the counter, walk right past the clerk before they start stuffing bags with cigarettes and other merchandise.

A fourth member of the group then hops the counter and starts grabbing as much as he can. Three men who entered with the group linger in front of the counter area but are not seen taking any merchandise.

Surveillance images of four members of the group. | Provided

Witnesses said the men split up outside the store, with some running northbound on Dearborn while others headed east on Maple. No one is in custody.

Police have issued a series of warnings to convenience store operators in the Loop following a wave of similar incidents. Some of the theft raids escalated to robberies when employees were battered by shoplifting teams.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com