River North crash-and-grab burglary was recorded by city cameras (video in story)

Images taken from City of Chicago surveillance video show a truck loaded with merchandise looted from a River North store on October 24, 2023. | City of Chicago

CHICAGO — Newly acquired city of Chicago surveillance camera footage shows a “crash and grab” burglary crew casing two River North stores, driving a car through the storefronts, and hauling away a pickup truck full of merchandise on October 23.

The break-ins at Little Black Dress and Endless Supply Sneaker Boutique were the first in a series of similar crimes that have targeted stores, mostly downtown and in Wicker Park.

Since then, Chicago police have managed to arrest two men who allegedly burglarized a West Side store after a truck crashed into the showroom early Wednesday morning. Both men were released from custody after appearing for detention hearings on Thursday.

River North burglary video

For several minutes before the River North stores were burglarized last month, two city surveillance cameras recorded the crew circling the block in at least three cars and an orange pickup truck. At about 5:50 a.m., one of the cameras caught a glimpse of the Charger plowing into the storefront.

Moments later, a Chicago police surveillance officer spun one of the cameras around to catch footage of the burglars hauling merchandise out of the stores.

After a couple of minutes, the men pile back into the vehicles and speed away. Chicago cops arrived about 20 seconds later.

Here is a compilation of the camera feed footage provided to CWBChicago in response to a Freedom of Information Act request:

Similar burglary attempts, often targeting sneaker shops, have been made since then, with mixed results.

Would-be burglars slammed a stolen Jeep Grand Cherokee into a display window at Louis Vuitton, 919 North Michigan, around 6 a.m. on October 25. The store’s reinforced glass was severely damaged, but the burglars failed to get inside.

On October 26, crews drove stolen SUVs into Boneyard Chicago, 1102 North Ashland, and Unique Chicago, 1839 South State. The Boneyard break-in appeared unsuccessful, but the South Loop store suffered significant losses.

Burglars drove another stolen Jeep through the front glass at Urban Jungle, 1369 North Milwaukee, on October 28. They hauled away merchandise and left the SUV sitting on the display floor.

On Halloween morning, another stolen Jeep was used as a battering ram at Round Two, 1501 North Milwaukee. Unfortunately for the burglars, the SUV plowed into a structural beam within the storefront. The vehicle’s airbags deployed, and the crew ran away, leaving the Jeep lodged in the side of the store.

Chicago police have not announced any arrests in connection with the incidents.

West Side arrests

But cops had better luck Wednesday at Tops and Bottoms, a sneaker and sporting goods store at 3960 W Madison in East Garfield Park.

Officers responding to a burglary in progress at the store discovered that someone had driven a Ford Ranger through the front glass. As cops arrived around 12:40 a.m., Demarvin Blandin, 33, and Israel Maisonet, 26, “dropped the items they were carrying and were then placed into custody,” according to a Cook County state’s attorney’s office case summary.

Blandin’s CPD arrest report said the store’s owner showed the officers a video of him trying to take merchandise and damaging cash registers.

During detention hearings on Wednesday afternoon, Judge Barbara Dawkins released Blandin on electronic monitoring and released Maisonet with a nighttime curfew, according to court records.

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About Tim Hecke 261 Articles
Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. His email address is tim@cwbchicago.com