Hammer-wielding burglars behind 5 Wicker Park, Bucktown break-ins in 3 hours

ByTre Ward and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Sunday, February 11, 2024
Hammer-wielding burglars hit 5 businesses in 3-hour spree
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.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police have issued a warning about burglars using hammers to smash the windows and break into businesses mostly in Wicker Park and Bucktown. One business in Pilsen was also targeted.

The smash and grab burglaries all happened in the early hours of Friday morning, between the hours of 2 a.m. and 5 a.m., according to CPD.

Police said in each instance, the suspects used a hammer to break the front glass doors of a business, get inside, and steal cash registers or cash drawers with an unknown amount of money inside. Police said they were using a black Chevy Equinox.

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The burglaries took place in:

The 1900 block of South Loomis at 2:28 a.m.

The 2000 block of West Wabansia at 4:18 a.m.

The 2000 block of North Leavitt at 4:25 a.m.

The 2000 block of North Laflin at 4:35 a.m.

The 2300 block of West Chicago Avenue at 4:52 a.m.

Three to five men were involved in the break-ins, CPD said. They were wearing black ski masks, black hooded sweatshirts and black pants.

READ MORE: Man attacking pedestrians on far NW Side struck by victim with hammer

Olivia's Market was one of the businesses targeted by the thieves. Security video shows the group of four suspects breaking in through the front door, rummaging around the store, and then fleeing.

"They broke through the glass, they came in, they went straight to the registers, were looking for any cash," said manager Michael Bedolla. "Yeah, that's been, like, their tactic."

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The security video later shows a fifth suspect joining the group inside Olivia's Market as they went through the store and then left a suitcase. Just as they were about to leave, the suitcase is slammed and busted open on the ground, revealing they had gotten away with only business papers and no cash.

"We had to change up our tactic in terms of how we close up to avoid theft," Beodlla said.

It was a lesson learned after, police say, a group broke into the same store back in October. Security video from that incident shows them taking cash from the register before getting away in a white Hyundai Elantra.

"It makes me think a lot just how desperate people are," Bedolla said.

Police wouldn't say if the same group is behind both break-ins at Olivia's Market, but so far in all of these burglaries no one is in custody.