Thief breaks into South Side restaurant by cutting hole in roof, then wall into business next door

Tre Ward Image
Thursday, February 15, 2024
Thief breaks into restaurants by cutting hole in roof, wall next door
A thief cut a hole in the roof of Wayne's BBQ & Cajun in Fuller Park stole ATM cash, then broke through a back wall to burgle the restaurant next door

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police are investigating break-ins at two restaurants right next to each other in which they said thieves got in by making a hole in the ceiling.

The manager at Wayne's BBQ & Cajun in the city's Fuller Park neighborhood said this isn't the first time his store has been burglarized. He said thieves typically break through the front glass door, but this time police say they cut a hole in roof, leaving behind a lot of damage.

"See! They cut a hole right there," said manager Tony Zheng. "The back door - no damage. You know, everything's good, you know?"

The burglar took a route from a hole in the ceiling, through the kitchen and to an ATM, where they broke open the machine and got away with an undisclosed amount of cash.

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"Before it happened, people broke the window two times. They break the window and come into here, stole my register, you know? This time it's a bit different," said Zheng.

Police said the break-in happened while the restaurant was closed between the hours of 9 p.m. Tuesday and shortly before opening at 10 a.m. Wednesday. But investigators said they didn't stop at just one restaurant; they also broke into New Grand Chinese Kitchen right next door.

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A group of hammer-wielding burglars broke into 5 businesses in Wicker Park, Bucktown and Pilsen in just 3 hours overnight Friday, Chicago police said.

The manager of that restaurant did not want to comment on camera, but said at least one suspect was able to get into their business by crawling and breaking through a wall in their back bathroom. Once inside, the culprit nearly emptied their case of lottery tickets.

Both businesses were back up and running just hours after the break-ins, while police are working to learn more about the suspect.

Managers at both restaurants said police are reviewing security video. At this time, no one is in custody.

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