Watch CBS News

Bollards coming to Chicago's Magnificent Mile this summer to prevent crash-and-grabs

Bollards coming to Chicago's Mag Mile in effort to prevent crash-and-grabs
Bollards coming to Chicago's Mag Mile in effort to prevent crash-and-grabs 02:08

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A West Englewood neighborhood liquor store early Tuesday became the latest Chicago business to be targeted in a crash-and-grab burglary—and one Chicago alderman said his constituents are fed up with such crimes.

In the incident early Tuesday morning, surveillance video caught a sport-utility vehicle backing into the doors of Rainbow Food & Liquors, 7100 S. Ashland Ave., and smashing through the doors. At least 10 people ran inside and stole thousands of merchandise.

A series of similar smash-and-grabs have also occurred on the Magnificent Mile and Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) said help is on the way. Protective bollards will be set up in the coming weeks between Chicago Avenue and Ohio Street — as a potential solution to crash-and-grabs involving vehicles.

"They're designed to withstand the strike of a vehicle up to 40 miles per hour," Hopkins said.

More than 40 protective bollards will be set up on the designated stretch of the Mag Mile.

"The bollards that we have are a combination of planters that will have decorative flowers in them, and also, straight-up bollards that are functional, but they're not unsightly," Hopkins said.

The bollards, which will be placed in front of stores, are designed to stop a speeding car. Some retailers this year told CBS 2 they have considered leaving Chicago after their businesses were crashed into and burglarized.

Among them are David and Robert Kim of SVRN, a streetwear store on the ground floor of the 6-year-old Aberdeen East luxury apartment building at 171 N. Aberdeen St. They had concrete barriers in front of their storefront, but they were no match for an organized crew of crash-and-grab burglars this past winter.

That burglary was at least the third time SVRN had been hit within a short period.

"If this lawlessness keeps taking place, we have to move out," Robert Kim said in a January interview. "There's no way we're going to be able to sustain."

But Hopkins said if the new bollards are successful downtown, they could be a tool that more Chicago neighborhoods could start using.

"Some of the neighborhoods that have been victimized by these types of crimes—we'd be more than willing to work them; provide some assistance," Hopkins said. "They can't afford to keep replacing, you know, their wall. They're going to go out of business if these becomes a regular thing."

Ald. Hopkins said the installation of the bollards on the Mag Mile will begin on Wednesday, June 26. He expects them to be complete before the Democratic National Convention rolls into town in August.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.