Back of the Yards restaurant robbed at gunpoint, food truck stolen

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CHICAGO (WLS) -- Police are investigating an armed robbery at a restaurant in Chicago's Back of the Yards neighborhood.

Employees said a robber armed with gun walked into Jamaican Island Jerk Chicken in the 5000-block of S. Halsted around 8 a.m. Tuesday as workers were getting their food trucks prepared for the day.

An employee who did not wish to be identified said the suspect appeared inside the restaurant and confronted him.

"At first this guy came in and asked if the restaurant was open. I said, 'no, it's not open.' Then he went outside and about five minutes time he came back and put a gun, point a gun at me and said, 'hey, get inside here.' And when I went inside, he says, 'go on the floor, lay on the floor or I'm going to kill you all.' I said, 'Man, I got a young daughter.' He said, 'Man, I got kids I got to feed, too,'" the employee said.

That employee said the robber marched workers back to the kitchen before he managed to steal some money from a cash register. He then grabbed the owner's purse.

"He searched my purse, throwed everything on the floor, then took all three of us back and locked us in the bathroom," restaurant owner Coralee Huckaby said.

A nearby grocery store owner said he believes the suspect thought about robbing him because he was in his store just moments before targeting the restaurant.

"He said, 'I need to wait for the bus for a minute, it's cold outside.' I said, 'OK, go ahead.' But when he saw a lot of customers, he couldn't do nothing though. So he left for the restaurant instead," Awsan Ali said.

Security video shows the suspect left the restaurant then stole one of its food trucks to use as a getaway car. The food truck was found abandoned a few blocks away.

Huckaby said this is not the first time her restaurant has been robbed. She said two of her food trucks were robbed in the last year.

Police said no one is in custody. null
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