Gold Coast business owner calls on city to do more after thieves target dealership in smash and grab

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Thursday, December 16, 2021
Gold Coast business owner calls for 'law and order' after armed heist
After declaring enough is enough, one luxury car dealership owner is still frustrated.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Bentley Gold Coast in Chicago is now doing its business a different way.

After a weekend heist by armed smash and grab thieves, netting the gun-wielding burglars tens of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, they have begun keeping their Rush Street showroom doors locked and prefer customers shop by appointment only.

"To run a business! It's wrong. It's terrible," said Joe Perillo, co-owner of Bentley Gold Coast.

After declaring enough is enough, the luxury car dealership owner is still frustrated.

RELATED: Surveillance video captures thieves targeting Gold Coast Exotic Motors dealership

Surveillance video captures a pair of thieves stealing millions of dollars worth of jewelry from the Gold Coast Exotic Motors dealearship Saturday.

He again called on local leaders and the judicial system Wednesday to hold criminals accountable by cracking down on violent robberies in the city.

"I think what we should have is law and order," he said.

The head of the Perillo Motors Group shared his solution to the violence, with the support of the community, faith leaders and others.

"If we continue as citizens to accept this abnormal behavior as normal behavior, someone just coming into your place and stealing. We can't live like this," said community activist, Pastor Anthony Williams.

RELATED: Chicago Police Superintendent Brown outlines safety plan after downtown disturbances last weekend

Williams said the community should be supporting local businesses and wants Illinois' governor to sign an executive order outlining a plan of civility.

State Representative Lashawn Ford, 8th District, said it's a start.

"We live in a society where you pay the price for what you do," Ford said.

Last month, the Chicago Police Department issued an alert to businesses warning of a prior spat of smash and grab robberies, while Mayor Lori Lightfoot has urged businesses to do more to protect their establishments.

The dealership has put into place additional security measures but said their coalition of the concerned will continue to encourage leaders to come up with some sort of solution to end all the violence.