Update: Jewelry store thief and worker who shot him are released without criminal charges

CHICAGO — A would-be thief who was shot by a concealed carry holder while trying to commit a smash-and-grab at a downtown Chicago jewelry store has been released without charges being filed. The store employee who shot the alleged thief was also released after spending more than a day in custody as prosecutors considered charging him with a crime.

A Chicago police spokesperson told CWBChicago on Sunday evening that “two individuals related to this incident have been released without charging at this time.” The investigation is continuing.

Surveillance video of the incident in the first block of North Wabash surfaced on Twitter Sunday morning. The footage begins with the thief walking from the back of the store toward the exit around 10:55 a.m.

Just a step from the front door, he swings his right hand into the front of a jewelry display case several times. While he’s trying to smash through the glass, a man behind the counter draws a pistol, racks the slide, and fires as the thief appears to be turning toward the door.

Video from an exterior camera shows the thief fall out the door, then return to pick up something he dropped in the doorway. Suffering from gunshot wounds in his buttocks and abdomen, the 27-year-old bolts up the stairs to a nearby “L” platform.  Here’s the video.

Cops arrested the injured man at the train station. They also took the store employee to Area Three headquarters for questioning. In a media statement issued shortly after the shooting, Chicago police described the offender as a robber and stated the armed worker was licensed to carry a concealed weapon.

Legally speaking, a robbery is much different from a burglary or theft in that robberies are crimes in which property is taken by using force or the threat of force against a person.

Two sources told CWBChicago on Sunday that prosecutors who reviewed the video you just saw argued that the thief did not appear to be presenting a threat to anyone’s physical well-being, and he may have even been leaving when he was shot.

The attorneys were eyeing the possibility of filing charges against both men or, should the men decide it’s mutually beneficial, not filing any charges at all, we reported.

A review of court records shows that the 27-year-old alleged thief has only been charged with one crime in Cook County as an adult, a 2019 misdemeanor domestic battery charge that prosecutors dropped within three weeks.

Original reporting you’ll see nowhere else, paid for by our readers. Click here to support our work.

About CWBChicago 6874 Articles
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