“Organized burglars” raid stores in Wicker Park and West Town overnight (Please don’t call them looters)

An organized group burglarized several businesses in and near Wicker Park early Friday Park, prompting Chicago police to flood the downtown retail corridors with extra resources to prevent similar raids along the Mag Mile and nearby areas. But, please help the city maintain its image by not calling them looters. The mayor will thank you.

Between 1:30 a.m. and. 3 a.m., a group of men that traveled in a 3-vehicle convoy burglarized the Foot Locker, 1241 North Milwaukee, North Face at 1629 North Damen, D&D Liquor at 2006 West Division, and the Empire Wireless at 2640 West Division, according to preliminary CPD reports. The front entrance was also damaged at Hustla Boutique, 1431 West Chicago, but it was not immediately clear if merchandise was taken.

Police said clothing was taken from Foot Locker, coats were taken from North Face, and electronics were taken from the cellular store.

The burglary crew traveled in a black Jeep Cherokee, a white Cadillac, and a Ford Fusion. Police searched the area for the burglars but came up empty-handed.

Among the burglars was:

  • a heavyset Black male who wore a black ski mask with a white hoodie and red shoes
  • a heavyset Black male who wore all black with a white COVID mask
  • a Black male who wore a white hoodie with the word “HOODRICH” on it

Second spree

Friday was the second time in a week that CPD sent reinforcements to shore up its presence along the Magnificent Mile and nearby retail corridors. On November 19, Chicago police leaders activated the city’s anti-looting plan to protect the Central Business District after a series of incidents downtown and in outlying neighborhoods. The incidents cropped up hours after a jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse of all charges in Kenosha.

A South Side alderman says looters struck her ward that evening and police confirmed groups of men successfully raided a Mag Mile department store and tried to break into a Loop footwear shop around the same time.

At 6:44 p.m., a group of men jumped out of two or three vehicles and stole “large amounts of merchandise” from a store on the 700 block of North Michigan, according to a CPD media statement. Witnesses said the offenders targeted Neiman Marcus, 737 North Michigan. No arrests were made.

Just under an hour later, officers responding to calls of a man with a rifle near State and Lake in the Loop were struck by a stolen SUV that they tried to pull over, according to CPD reports. The vehicle’s occupants ran from the scene, but cops arrested them nearby, a police spokesperson said in a tweet that included a photo of four guns officers allegedly found in the SUV.

Then, around 9:07 p.m., a group of men got out of a car and broke the front windows of Foot Locker, 26 South State, according to a CPD report. Police said they did not know if the men had taken anything from the store.

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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