Business burglaries reported on Northwest Side

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Police are warning businesses about a series of burglaries that occurred this month on the Northwest Side. (WLS)

Police are warning businesses about a series of burglaries that occurred this month on the Northwest Side.

In each break-in, someone entered a business by smashing front windows or prying front doors open, according to a business alert from Chicago Police. In at least one instance, the suspect gained access through the roof.

The thief seems to be targeting order-at-the-counter restaurants, many of them along busy Milwaukee Avenue.

Surveillance video shows the burglar climbing through broken glass and, without hesitation, heading behind the counter. The man, dressed in a hoodie, immediately eyes the register and promptly removes the cash drawer, sending equipment flying. A computer screen nearly topples over.

With his prize in hand, he makes his escape but instead of going out the way he came in, he exits through the back.

"From the moment he breaks the glass to the moment he walks out the door, I think it's about 45, 50 seconds total," says Sal Ukani, owner of the Roasti's Pizza franchise. "He doesn't seem like a customer, but it's kind of curious. He kind of knew exactly where to go, what to find, where to look."

The Rosati's Pizza in Jefferson Park was burgled last week, and the suspect didn't stop there. He also hit a nearby Subway restaurant as well as a second Subway a couple miles away. Police asy the same suspect may be responsible for at least five recent Northwest Side break-ins.

"It's disbelief. I just don't understand why somebody needed to do something along those lines. It doesn't make a lot of sense," Ukani says.

In the Rosati's break-in the man was relentless. After throwing a rock at the door he kicks the safety glass over and over again - at least nine times - before he's able to break through.

"It was pretty aggressive," Ukani says. "Our shakers are on the floor. Everything's broken. We've got straws on the floor, so he created quite a bit of a mess."

In most of the break-ins, police say the thief busted through glass or pried a door open, but in at least one instance, he managed to make entry through the roof.

Anyone with information should call Area North detectives at (312) 744-8263.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.
Related Topics:
newschicago crimeburglaryChicago - Jefferson Park
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