A group of armed burglars broke into two Lakeview convenience stores, dumped their stolen cash registers in front of Gov. JB Pritzker’s home, and then burglarized the Burberry store on Michigan Avenue early Thursday. It all happened in under 45 minutes and, yes, it’s the second time the Burberry store has been broken into this week.
Burglars broke into Apple Bite, a liquor store at 2919 North Broadway, around 4:10 a.m. and then burglarized Belmont Harbor Market, 401 West Belmont, around 4:35 a.m., according to separate police reports. They took cash, registers, liquor, and tobacco products.
CPD surveillance cameras captured footage of four offenders leaving the Belmont burglary in a dark-colored four-door pickup truck that headed south on Lake Shore Drive.
Less than ten minutes later, police were called to the 1400 block of North Astor Street in the Gold Coast by someone who saw a group of men throw at least one cash register and other items from a pickup truck directly in front of the governor’s home, according to CPD dispatch records.
Police believe the cash register came from the Apple Bite.
Then, at 4:47 a.m., a group of six men pried open the front door of a business on the 600 block of North Michigan and stole merchandise, according to a CPD media statement. While the police statement did not mention the business by name, it was Burberry, 633 North Michigan, where a group of burglars used the same method to break in on Tuesday.
Police said two of the men were armed with guns during the latest break-in, and they all fled in a pickup truck. Cops reported seeing it speed through the Loop shortly after the burglary was reported. A security guard was working at Burberry overnight, but she told police she was in the bathroom at the time of the burglary, according to a report.
The burglars are believed to have escaped with about $100,000 in merchandise from Burberry on Tuesday, but the losses from Thursday’s break-in aren’t known. The crew also forced its way into Moose Knuckles, 54 East Walton, and stole high-end winter coats Tuesday. A source said the store’s surveillance video system appeared to be malfunctioning at the time of the burglary.
In retrospect, it’s notable that there was a liquor store burglary reported on the North Side shortly before the downtown stores were targeted Tuesday. In that case, a group of burglars traveling in a Jeep Cherokee and another SUV broke into Azusa Liquor, 4411 North Broadway, to steal the register and booze, according to a police report.
Last week, a burglary crew look-out opened fire on a man who saw them breaking into an Edgewater store, according to a source. That incident was among several liquor and convenience store break-ins on December 28, stretching from Rogers Park to Lincoln Square to Uptown.
Late-night burglary sprees targeting small stores for liquor, cigarettes, and cash registers have been an ongoing problem across the North Side for several weeks. Some stores, including Belmont Harbor Market, which was targeted this morning, have been hit twice.
And burglaries of high-end stores like Burberry, Moose Knuckle, and DIOR have not been uncommon. But who would have suspected they might be the work of the same people?