Skilled, patient burglary team scares “large amount of cash” from business safes, cops say

A well-prepared and skilled burglary crew has broken into safes at two businesses this month — one in Avondale and the other in West Ridge — according to Chicago police. And they know what they’re doing. Police issued an alert about the team on Wednesday night, but CWB has learned a few extra details that show just how good they are.

According to CPD, the burglars have spent four to five hours at the scene of each crime as they sawed their way through walls or ceilings and then compromised the businesses’ safes.

Cermak Fresh Market at 6623 North Damen. | Google

Around 10:22 p.m. on March 14, the crew entered a clinic on the 3500 block of North Kedzie and then used saws and grinders to break through a wall that it shares with Kedzie Elston Currency Exchange, 3510 North Kedzie.

They managed to cut through the wall at exactly the right place to access the back of the currency exchange’s safe. According to a police report, the crew then worked for hours to bust a hole into the back of the safe while they remained in the clinic.

CPD said the crew took a “large amount of money” from the safe and fled.

Then, the team struck again at Cermak Fresh Market, 6623 North Damen, between 10:45 p.m. Monday and 4:24 a.m. Tuesday, according to the CPD alert and a report reviewed by CWBChicago.

This time, the burglars entered the store by sawing a hole in the roof and lowering a ladder into the room where the safe is located. Once again, they used tools to break through the safe to access its cash. Then, they climbed back onto the roof and fled.

CPD said the crew consists of one Hispanic man and two men of unknown race.

Anyone with information about the crimes can contact detectives at 312-744-8263 regarding community alert number 21-CWP-101.

Breaking through walls and roofs at exactly the right place to access a safe is quite a feat — but it’s not unheard of.
The king of wall-breaching burglars may be the crew that broke through a wall and drilled into the safe of Steve Quick Jewelers in Lincoln Park early one day in February 2012. Those bandits made off with $500,000 in gems.

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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