Video shows thieves burglarizing Pilsen restaurants overnight: 'These are tough times'

'It almost seems like it always happens when the time changes,' economic strategist says

Saturday, November 27, 2021
Watch: Thieves burglarize Pilsen restaurants overnight
Video shows overnight crime after thieves stole from 18th Street restaurants in Pilsen. The Chicago Police Department is investigating.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police are investigating a rash of overnight break-ins along 18th Street in Pilsen.

ABC7 obtained surveillance video of the burglary. Security cameras captured a man breaking the glass on the front door and then going inside the bakery. He was in there for less than a minute.

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A worker sweeping up glass at the bakery said the man caused more damage than what he got away with it.

Three restaurants were also hit by thieves, establishments still rebounding from the impact of the pandemic.

"It is just sad to see this happen," said one neighbor who didn't want to be identified.

Thieves got away with a handful of cash including tips for the staff at Ca Phe Dá Vietnamese Kitchen.

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"These are tough times, especially during the holidays when some people have even less and feel entitled to rob from hard-working people who pursue their dreams of opening their own business," said Chef Thai and Danielle Dang, the owners.

Alex Esparza is the executive director of the Economic Strategies Development Corporation. He said burglaries have always been a problem in the area, especially during this time of year.

"It's something that we have been dealing with for many years already," he said. "It almost seems like it always happens when the time changes."

Esparza said his organization is focused on helping small businesses in Pilsen. For the second year in a row they're bringing back their storefront art contest known as the Pilsen Christmas Window Walk.

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"We are trying to bring proactive, creative ideas to try to bring people to come and support the small businesses and hopefully with that combat the bad energy with positive energy," Esparza said.

Chicago police are looking into if these break-ins are connected. They are reviewing surveillance video.

Police have not made any arrests.