Chicago looting: West Side business owner reeling after looted for 2nd time since May

Sarah Schulte Image
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
One business owner is distraught after he is looted for the second time since May.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- One business owner is distraught after he says he was looted for the second time since May.

Walid Mouhammad stepped inside his West Side convenience store for the first time Tuesday since the business owner witnessed in real-time looters breaking in during Monday's attack on the city.

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The suspects were caught on his security cameras ripping out a new steel security door he just had replaced.

"This is the second time," Mouhammad said. "I've been open for just 40 days, so who will be responsible for this?"

After spending over $300,000 to re-open his store following May's looting spree, Mouhammad says Monday's damage is worse.

Once the door was pried open, security cameras show a flood of looters coming in and ransacking the place.

Besides stolen merchandise, the ATM was also ripped out.

The latest destruction took place just hours after Mayor Lori Lightfoot warned looters the city will hold them accountable.

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"I deserve the same service as any other citizen in the city. If the police can go somewhere else for manpower, how come we can't get manpower," said Tommica Foster-Akin, who owns the building.

"All sides of town need to be outfitted with the proper resources from police," said Tommica's brother Belvie Foster.

The brother and sister are longtime west side building owners who say they called police multiple times Monday, but no-one showed up to stop the looting until it was too late.

"I made six calls myself," Tommica said. "The store owners, they made calls; my maintenance guys made calls."

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Videos show large crowds breaking windows and entering stores along the Magnificent Mile, in Gold Coast, in the Loop and in some other Chicago neighborhoods.

Police were present at the corner of Madison and Keeler Monday, but it's a little too late for Mohammed, who has been on the corner for decades. Now, he says he can't afford to reopen and the Fosters are worried they may not get a new tenant.

If Mouhammad is serious about closing his store for good, he says the bigger loss is for residents, especially the elderly who rely on his store for fresh produce and meat.

The destroyed neighborhood store affects many lives, including senior residents like Scott Brown who will now have to take a bus to find another store.

"It affects me a lot when I have to go out of the way to get a simple item," Brown said.