Cops: Burglar took $20,000 of lottery tix and smokes from West Loop 7-Eleven

When a West Loop convenience store closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak this month, one Chicago man saw an opportunity.

Prosecutors say 32-year-old Keith Bates broke into the 7-Eleven store at 200 South Racine shortly after midnight on Apr. 9 by pulling on its locked doors. Once inside, Bates filled a bag with $16,000 worth of instant lottery tickets, 198 packs of cigarettes, $2,000 worth of cigars, and $749 worth of e-cigarettes and food items, a prosecutor said in bond court Friday.

Keith Bates | CPD

Police surveillance cameras allegedly captured images of Bates driving from the store to his girlfriend’s house in a white Dodge Journey.

Thirty minutes later, Bates returned to the same store in the same vehcile and stole more tobacco products as well as the store’s DVR, said an assistant state’s attorney.

Once again, CPD cameras allegedly tracked Bates as he drove from the scene.

Police arrested Bates this week after identifying him through addresses and vehicle information. Investigators said he admitted to the burglary and identified himself in a photo of the burglar that cops presented to him after his arrest.

“It was me,” he allegedly wrote on the surveillance photo. “I’m sorry.”

Bates, who has no criminal background and is the father of three, was ordered held on $1,000 bail. Judge John Lyke said Bates will be required to go onto electronic monitoring if he can post the mandatory $100 deposit bond.

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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