Armed robbers target restaurants, liquor stores on North, NW sides, Chicago police say

In one robbery, clerk exchanges shots with suspects

Friday, May 10, 2024
Armed robbers target restaurants, liquor stores on North, NW sides
Chicago police said armed robbers targeted several fast food restaurants and liquor stores on the North and Northwest sides Thursday night.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Armed robbers targeted several fast food restaurants and liquor stores across the North Side Thursday night, and shots were exchanged in one of the incidents, Chicago police said.

Police are investigating at least six armed robberies.

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New surveillance video shows the robbery at A&P Liquors on West Peterson Avenue Thursday night. A man enters, flashes his gun, and demands money from the clerk.

The store owner was too shaken to speak on camera, but said more than $10,000 was stolen.

The video also shows another armed man forcing some of the customers to the ground while robbing them of their belongings.

The owner of the cell phone repair shop next door said the increasingly common occurrence of crimes like this has changed the way he does business.

"Now I even changed my business hours," Anas Zeidieh said. "I close early now. I tend to close around six o'clock because all the problems happen after it gets dark."

Surveillance video also captured the frantic moments people ran for cover outside Basil Food and Liquor. Two bullet holes could be seen in the store's front window.

Basil Salaqa said he's owned the liquor store for 15 years. He said his son was tipped off about the armed robberies and was ready to defend himself.

Chicago police said three gunmen walked into the store and one of them fired at the employee working at the time.

Basil said one of the suspects fired at his son multiple times before his son fired back.

Police said no one was injured.

"People have to be on the lookout and protect themselves at all costs," Kelly Gordon, whose family lives nearby, said. "He did what he had to do."

Chicago police said the armed robbery on North Western was one of at least six that unfolded late Thursday night on the North and Northwest sides.

CPD hasn't officially linked the crimes yet, but some of them are similar.

Investigators said two to three men, armed with handguns held up liquor stores Subway restaurants and a 7-11.

The other robberies occurred at the following locations and times:

-5000-block of North Western Avenue at about 9:38 p.m.

-1900-block of West Peterson Avenue at about 9:45 p.m.

-4700-block of North Elston Avenue at about 10:46 p.m.

-1900-block of West Peterson Avenue at about 11:15 p.m.

-5200-block of North Nagle Avenue at about 11:56 p.m.

CPD said the men even stole the wallets of some people inside the businesses at the time of the armed robberies.

Basil also said this is the third time people have attempted to rob his liquor store.

According to police data analyzed by the ABC7 data team, armed robberies are up almost 34% in the last year compared to the average of the three previous years.

Police said there are three suspects they're seeking in connection to all 12 robberies in the last week. They're described as 20 to 30 years old, often wearing a mask, dark clothing and gloves.

Police said no one is in custody as the investigation continues.

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