Surveillance video shows man breaking into Chicago lakefront restaurant amid rash of burglaries

In one incident, a man cut a hole in a business' roof to steal a cash register, police said.

ByTre Ward and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Sunday, September 11, 2022
Surveillance video shows man breaking into Chicago lakefront restaurant amid rash of burglaries
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The Chicago Police Department is warning lakefront restaurants and food stands about recent burglary incidents near Museum Campus.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Police Department warned lakefront restaurants and food stands about recent burglaries.

Someone broke into three businesses by breaking glass windows in August and September, police said. They took cash registers and money drawers. In a fourth incident, the offender cut a hole into a business' roof to steal a cash register.

In most of these break-ins, owners said the thief didn't get away with much money. In one case, he even got away empty handed.

But damage was left behind, as well as some lingering concerns.

The burglaries happened on Aug. 31 near Museum Campus in the 1100 block of South Lake Shore Drive East at 7:00 p.m. and in the 1400 block of South Lake Shore Drive West from 6:00 p.m. until 11:00 a.m. the next day, police said. More burglaries happened on Sept. 8 in the 700 block of East Solidarity Drive on at 3:46 a.m. and in the 200 block of North Lake Shore Drive at 4:56 a.m.

"Downtown area and the Lakefront was really one of the safest places you can be," said Khaled "Charlie" Alia, manager of Cafe Michelle.

In the six years Alia has managed Cafe Michelle along the city's lakefront, he said "things were good," until now.

Security video shows a man breaking into the restaurant's bar area early Thursday morning.

In the footage, you can see one of the cameras being moved before another angle captured a man wearing a surgical mask, a black hoodie and red gloves pry his way through the door and behind the bar before quickly getting away.

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"It's dark here at night," Alia said. "Luckily, there was not much damage and nothing was taken, but now you have to worry about it every day!"

That same early morning, a nearby Dip-n-Dots food stand was also broken into.

Police are now connecting the suspect with at least four burglaries of businesses along the lakefront.

"There is no police presence and we used to be open until 11 o'clock at night. Now, by 8 o'clock, it's a ghost town here on the lakefront. People in the buildings behind us are afraid to come down to the lakefront," Alia said.

But, until his concerns are addressed, Alia believes these break-ins will threaten to eat away at his bottom line.

"If you're closing down three, four hours earlier, people are not coming down for dinner, that hurts the pocket," Alia added.

Police encouraged business owners to have and maintain a working surveillance system. Police asked anyone with information to call 312-744-8263.

As of now, no one is in custody.