A shoplifting mob injured an off-duty Chicago police officer as they raided a luxury Mag Mile retailer where she was working as security on Saturday evening, according to a CPD report.
The officer was injured at Bottega Veneta, 800 North Michigan, which has been targeted repeatedly by theft crews that usually target the store’s handbags. According to the company’s website, those items retail for thousands of dollars each.
A 42-year-old store employee opened the front door for a man to enter around 5:18 p.m., but three other men forced their way in once the door was ajar, according to a police spokesperson.
The four offenders went to the sales floor, snatched merchandise, and headed toward the exit.
They pushed the store employee when she tried to block the front door, and she struck her head on the glass, causing a laceration to the side of her head, the CPD spokesperson said.
The four thieves escaped in a stolen black Ford Expedition bearing license plate CT75077, the spokesperson said. It was last seen heading east on Pearson.
CPD did not identify the victim as an officer in their statement to CWBChicago, but she is identified as an off-duty officer working as store security in department documentation of the incident. She was taken to St. Joseph Hospital in good condition.
The officer was injured a few weeks after Mayor Lori Lightfoot blamed retailers for a surge in mob-style shoplifting raids along the Mag Mile, Rush Street, and Oak Street.
“We still have retailers that won’t institute plans like having security officers in their stores, making sure that they’ve got cameras that are actually operational, locking up their merchandise at night, chaining high-end bags. These purses can be something that is attracting a lot of organized retail theft units,” Lightfoot said. She also suggested that stores should buzz customers in.
The mayor said she learned about high-end shopping practices while on retail excursions to Milan, London, Paris, Rome, and Rodeo Drive.
As it turns out, Bottega Veneta checked nearly all of Lightfoot’s security boxes. They still got robbed, and their security guard was injured.
In October, CPD released a video of two thieves stealing thousands of dollars of purses from the same store.
The video shows one man was allowed into the store, but he returned to the front door and apparently allowed the second offender to enter. The first man briefly grappled with the store’s employee before both offenders headed to the sales floor to collect purses from the display cases.
Bottega Veneta was struck by a larger group of thieves who used a similar ruse to enter on September 20.
Around 4 o’clock that afternoon, an employee admitted a man into the boutique, and about eleven other men poured in behind the first. According to a property management company’s email to nearby residents, the crew collected about 35 handbags and ran out the door. A police report said the team escaped in at least two cars.