Police are investigating the burglaries of at least three North Side businesses overnight. While it’s too early to say if criminals are taking advantage of nearly non-existent foot and vehicle traffic to steal from shuttered shops, city officials are encouraging business owners to take special precautions during the statewide COVID-19 shelter order.
Around 12:30 a.m., police responded to a burglary at STK Steakhouse, 9 West Kinzie, in River North. The offenders entered through the restaurant’s loading dock and hauled off an undetermined amount of booze from the eatery’s liquor closet, police said.
Police believe the heist may be an inside job. The burglars knew exactly where to go once they were inside; they moved all of the security cameras to new angles by hand, and they knew where to find the liquor storage room key, according to an individual who is familiar with the crime.
At 2:30 a.m., a passerby noticed the glass front door shattered and an alarm sounding at Miska’s Liquors, 2353 North Clark in Lincoln Park. Police determined the break-in took place more than two hours earlier, around 12:05 a.m., according to a CPD news release.
Surveillance video shows four or five people wearing dark clothing entering the store and taking liquor, cigars, and cash from the register, police said. The offenders then fled north on Clark, possibly in a dark-colored sedan.
And around 8 a.m., police found the front glass door broken at Red Lion Lincoln Square, 4749 North Rockwell. About $200 cash was taken.
Some Chicago businesses this week began boarding up their windows and doors in anticipation of long-term closures during the COVID-19 outbreak.
CPD canceled all officers’ scheduled days off this weekend. The extra manpower is being directed toward “special attention” patrols of retail corridors, thoroughfares, and other potential hotspots, according to a memo from the department’s chief of operations.
Lakeview Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) on Thursday advised businesses in his ward to secure their facilities after a burglary crew broke into three storefronts around his ward to steal ATMs earlier in the day.
“After discussing these incidents, police are recommending businesses that are not open during this time secure valuables such as liquor, ATMs, cash registers and other items that can be seen from the windows,” Tunney said.
He also advised business owners to make sure their surveillance cameras are operating correctly, that all doors and windows are locked, and alarms are activated.