Watch CBS News

Chicago Police recommend Riot Glass to prevent smash-and-grab crimes

Police suggest Riot Glass for preventing smash-and-grabs
Police suggest Riot Glass for preventing smash-and-grabs 02:42

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Smash-and-grab burglaries in the Wicker Park area have Chicago Police recommending a different type of solution.

It involves a type of shield over glass windows and doors that one can't even tell is there.

CBS 2's Sabrina Franza spoke Monday with some of the victims in this latest string of burglaries – and with a number of businesses determined to help stop burglaries in their tracks using the new technology.

Police issued a community alert over the weekend about the burglaries in Wicker Park and Humboldt Park. They say the same chain of events transpired in each burglary – thieves would break the front or side glass windows using a rock, brick, or crowbar, enter the business and steal money from a register, the cash register itself, a safe, and liquor.

One business, Mott Street Restaurant on Ashland Avenue, was hit four different times over a period of a month.

The incident times and locations were as follows:

  • 1401 N. Ashland Ave. (Mott Street) Friday, March 17 – 4:30 a.m.
  • 1401 N. Ashland Ave. (Mott Street) Saturday, April 1 – 5:30 a.m.
  • 1401 N. Ashland Ave. (Mott Street) Friday, April 7 – 5 a.m.
  • 1401 N. Ashland Ave. (Mott Street) Saturday, April 15 – 4 a.m.
  • 1358 N. Western Ave. (Western Food & Grocery) Sunday, April 16 – 6:45 a.m.
  • 1616 N. Kedzie Ave. (Zoku Sushi) Saturday, April 29 – 5 a.m.

"He broke into the back door, just went straight here, grabbed the money from the cash register, speakers, and just ran," said Tamer Jaradat, an employee at Western Food & Grocery.

Employees at the corner bodega claim the same happened the month before – and two before that.

"Three months ago, they broke in - they stole the ATM machine," Jaradat said.

It has gotten so bad that staff say they are prepared to defend themselves if necessary.

"Usually, people fear their lives too. Like, I have seven kids," Jaradat said. "If it takes me having to protect my life or my business, I'm going to do it."

He also said the frequency of thefts at the store impacts police response.

"Now if you call the cops like too much, every day, for stealing a bag of chips or pop, they're not going to show up in 10 or 20 minutes like before," he said. "It takes time."

Police say businesses should consider special glass shields to prevent smash-and-grabs 01:51

In the community alert issued on the burglaries, police recommended using ArmorPlast – an unbreakable shield to fit over existing glass.

"We want to keep the bad guys outside the building - and that's what the product does," said Brad Campbell.

Campbell founded Riot Glass – a company that offers laminated security glass and ArmorPlast polycarbonate shields to keep glass from breaking easily. Chicago Police specifically linked to Riot Glass in their community alert.

"Our mission is to help prevent this and to stop this cycle," Campbell said, "and Riot Glass is really the next evolution in product development specifically for smash-and-grab crimes."

We thought it was interesting that police would recommend such technology. The company told us they have not communicated with CPD, and police did not respond to our request for comment.

We did learn the protective glass costs about $600 for a 3-foot by 3-foot window.

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.