Burglars caught on camera smashing SUV into Flee Club in Tri-Taylor: 'You just can't survive'

Wednesday, October 25, 2023
Burglars caught on camera smashing SUV into West Side shoe store
Burglars were caught on surveillance video smashing an SUV into the Flee Club shoe store in the 2200-block of West Taylor Street.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The robbery took just minutes, and now, workers are cleaning up the shattered glass and broken dreams that are left behind.

It was a brutal beginning to a business owner's day. Surveillance video from early Wednesday shows a jeep ramming through the reinforced glass and metal shutters of Flee Club's Tri-Taylor location on West Taylor Street.

Seven hooded and masked people entered the store took as much as they could in their arms, even coming back more than once to grab merchandise before fleeing in a waiting vehicle outside.

"When I got the call I was just like, 'Man, not again,'" said Flee Club co-owner Sabrian Sledge. "It's just so tough to keep taking hits and trying to bounce back. It's just tough."

Sledge and Darris Kelly are co-owners of the high-end sneaker and clothing store now hit by robbers, they say, at least three times at the Taylor Street location and more at another.

"You just can't survive. I mean, what are you going to do? I mean, you try to do something good, and this is the outcome every time," Kelly said. "It's heartbreaking. It happens so much. I mean, I'm so tired of it."

"We have basketball programs, we give giveaways and we employ people, too," Sledge said.

Police were seen investigating as the jeep used as a battering ram was removed from the store.

It was the second time in two days that a car was used to bash through a building, allowing thieves to steal. Tuesday's burglary happened at River North's Endless Supply, which also sells expensive shoes.

SEE ALSO | Burglars use 2 vehicles to smash into River North store, Chicago police say

"This is too much. We gotta stop hurting each other. This is too much," said Ronald Miller, Sledge's brother.

Sledge and Kelly are now contemplating what's next.

"It wears you down. So, we're not gonna try to be tough and be like, 'It's OK,' but it wears us down. Pray for the city, man. Pray for us," Sabrian said. "We bounce back every time but there's only so much you can do. I'm just really at a loss for words. It's sad."

Now, the owners are trying to figure out how to rebuild and if they'll have to move out of state to keep their business dreams alive.

INTERACTIVE SAFETY TRACKER Track crime and safety in your neighborhood