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Pet store manager chases 3 suspects after theft

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A store manager helped police track down three suspects when thieves stole from a North Side pet food store. (WLS)

A store manager helped police track down three suspects when thieves stole from a North Side pet food store.

Ryan Cummins, the manager of Ruff Haus Pets, said he followed the thieves out of the store and stayed on the phone with police.

Before officers arrived, Cummins said he witnessed the suspects stealing packages from several buildings.

Cummins is pretty mild-mannered, but this 23-year-old pet food store manager said he couldn't ignore what happened on Saturday.

"It's not really an act of bravery. It was really just an act of me doing what I thought was right in the moment," said Cummins.

According to Cummins, three teens entered the store in the 4600 block of North Rockwell Street and immediately began asking questions about items in the back.

"They lured me away from the register just asking legitimate questions, so I was helping them like I would anyone else," said Cummins.

He said one of the teens grabbed the store's iPod, when he wasn't looking.

Cummins didn't realize what had happened until the teens left and the iPod's Bluetooth disconnected and silenced the store's music.

"Like, wow, I can't believe that they just thought that they could come in here and take stuff," said Cummins.

Though police don't recommend people chase after an offender, Cummins said he exited the store and followed the teens from a safe distance while calling police. He said he witnessed the trio of suspects going from building to building stealing packages.

"I was kind of not laughing like it was comedy, but laughing like wow," said Cummins.

Still on the phone with police, he said officers eventually arrived near Lawrence and Virginia and arrested the three teens, one of them after a foot chase.

At a time when soaring crime has many in Chicago feeling helpless, Cummins said he's glad he took action.

"It was absolutely the principle. It was not about what was taken," he said.

Cummins said he was told the teens were found with several items, including cell phones and jewelry.

But apparently two of the three are back on the street.

Cummins said two of them came back to the store on Wednesday afternoon. Cummins said he ordered them out and called police.

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