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Burglars caught on camera ransacking Lincoln Park store, one year after last hit

Burglars hit Lincoln Park consignment store for second time
Burglars hit Lincoln Park consignment store for second time 02:57

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Burglars were caught on camera ransacking a small business in the Lincoln Park neighborhood early Wednesday - one year since the last burglary of the store.

As CBS 2's Tara Molina reported, the owner of the small business says she doesn't feel safe after her store was cleared out again.

We aren't identifying the store owner. She asked us not to because she's so shaken up. But her consignment store in the 2200 block of North Clybourn Avenue was hit early Wednesday morning, just as Chicago Police issued a warning about other burglaries in the area.

A total of eight men were caught on camera running into and ransacking the store at before 3 a.m. Wednesday. To get in, they used a large bolt cutter and cut right through the lock that is supposed to secure the store every night.

The owner woke up to a security alert on her phone, and started watching the burglary happen live on video. She called for help right away.

"I immediately called 911 and I said: 'They're trying to break into my store. Please get the police there as fast as you can,'" the owner said.

Burglars hit Lincoln Park consignment store for second time 02:23

Police said the burglars took the cash register and an unknown amount of merchandise, and fled in a Dodge Charger and Dodge Ram.

"It had happened once before," the store owner said. "So, you know."

Shaken up Wednesday, the store's owner didn't want to be identified and she also didn't want us naming her store. It was also burglarized a year ago - almost to the day – on Jan. 3, 2022.

"So is the second time that they've hit us," the owner said.

That was why the images of the most recent burglary were so clear – and some faces in particular were also very clear - because the store upgraded their cameras and their security after the last hit.

Supplied to CBS 2

But still, they were hit again – and thousands and thousands of dollars in merchandise is gone.

This happened as Chicago Police warned of other recent burglaries on the Near North Side. They specified three – one on the afternoon of Christmas Day on Halsted Street near Hooker Street on Goose Island, one on the morning of Thursday of last week on Lincoln Avenue near Larrabee Street and Webster Avenue in Lincoln Park, and one on the evening of New Year's Eve on Wells Street near Illinois Street in River North.

In all these incidents, the burglars broke in through a rear door or broke glass doors.

Police aren't saying if they believe the burglary at the consignment store Wednesday morning could be connected to the ones about which they issued the alert.

"I think Cook County really needs to focus on making this a bigger priority," said Rob Karr, president and chief executive officer of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association. "You know, it affects all of us. It is not a victimless crime."

Illinois Retail Merchants Association Anti-Theft by Adam Harrington on Scribd

The Illinois Retail Merchants Association is behind a retail theft bill we've covered from the very beginning. The state law got new teeth on Jan. 1.

"Third-party marketplaces are now going to have to enhance their efforts in terms of verifying their sellers," Karr said.

And that means, re-selling stolen luxury items like those stolen from the Clybourn Avenue store should be much harder in this new year.

Meanwhile, the Lincoln Park store owner had a message Wednesday.

"This just has to stop. I mean, I don't feel safe in the city anymore. I don't feel safe in my business anymore. I worked so hard. I'm 30 years here in my store - 30 years," she said, "and for them to come in and just take what doesn't belong to them and just take away all of my hard work? It's heartbreaking."

The Cook County State's Attorney's office said they have no comment on the latest with the retail theft law, as Chicago Police continue to investigate this latest incident and others. 

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