Chicago police investigating rash of burglaries in Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Old Town

Friday, January 26, 2024
Chicago police investigating rash of North Side burglaries
CPD is investigating a rash of Chicago burglaries in Lakeview, Lincoln Park and Old Town. In one incident, the same store owner was targeted twice.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police are investigating a rash of break-ins that took place on Chicago's North Side early Thursday morning.

One liquor store owner said he's been hit over and over.

The storefront of his Old Town liquor store was shattered and boarded up early Thursday, and he is frustrated.

Galleria Liqueurs is located on the corner of Wells Street and North Avenue.

Chicago police said at about 4:50 a.m. two male suspects broke the window and stole merchandise.

Then they got into a maroon SUV, possibly a Dodge, and took off.

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The same business owner has a second location less than 2 miles away, in the 3400-block of North Southport Avenue in Lakeview.

That Galleria Liquors was also targeted just after 3:20 a.m.

"Six times they've broken into my stores, past 20 days, three weeks. I am really sick of this. As I said, I need help from city of Chicago. I need help from our mayor, aldermen, police department. I need some protection," Benjamin Pourkhalili said. "I think altogether I lost almost about $60,000. My windows alone cost me $33,000. My insurance is dropping me after all these accidents. And then I renew my insurance policies and I'm just tired. I'm really, really tired now."

The front window was shattered at the Sephora right by Galleria Liquors on Southport and Roscoe Street, where police say merchandise was taken about 3:30 a.m.

Surveillance video from that store shows several people stealing bottles of alcohol.

The burglaries are taking a toll on business, Pourkhalili said.

"I think, altogether, I lost almost about $60,000. My windows alone cost me $33,000. My insurance is dropping me after all these accidents. And then I renew my insurance policies. And I'm just, I'm tired. I'm really really tired now," he said.

Police also responded to a burglary at Liquor Expo in the 2100-block of Halsted Street in Lincoln Park about 1:35 a.m.

They found the front window shattered, bottles on the floor and the cash register open.

Second Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins said there were two crews in stolen Dodge Durangos that hit a total of five stores.

"At one point, we were able to pursue them briefly, but then they exceeded 100 miles per hour on the Kennedy, and we had to terminate the pursuit," Hopkins said.

Hopkins said the thieves are after high-end tequila and champagne to re-sell, and he believes they have no real fear of prosecution.

"They're going to sell it on the black market," he said. "If we can find those retailers that are illegally selling stolen merchandise, we can work backwards from there and shut the whole organization down."

Hopkins said the robbery crews are very organized, and no one was in custody later Thursday.

"This is partially on the voters. Let's pick elected leaders that wanna stop criminals and wanna support our police instead of punishing the police for everything that goes wrong in society," Hopkins added.

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