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Mag Mile Merchant Worried About Recent Robberies: 'We Need A Little Bit More Protection'

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A recent rash of robberies on the Magnificent Mile, including one with thieves dressed as construction workers busted into a jewelry store.

CBS's Steven Graves looked into the numbers and what's being done to stop it.

High-end stores with low-end looks along Michigan Avenue lately. But on Thursday Chicago police were visible and present. There's even armed security at some stores, like Saks Fifth Avenue.

It comes after scenes like the one Wednesday afternoon when a group hit Sephora, Ferragamo and Burberry. On Sunday, video shows a smash and grab with 150 pieces of jewelry, gone in less than two minutes.

Earlier this month, a $50,000 burglary at a Louis Vuitton store. There were 66 retail theft reports for the first three weeks of the year on the Mag Mile stretch.

Last year it was 59.

Some business owners said they are getting tired of dealing with more thefts.

"I feel like we need a little bit more protection," said Carmen Imbrogno of Na Hoku Jewelers.

CBS 2 dug into retail theft reports from year-to-year.

In 2017, there were 1,104 burglary and theft reports at retail stores. There were 1,090 in 2018 and in a drop, 996 in 2019.

The crime still on the radar of the Magnificent Mile Association.

A spokesperson said they are working with stores and hotels for security options, adding that some retailers are hiring off-duty officers to help.

An increasing concern to find peace of mind during an ongoing search for solutions.

The Magnificent Mile Association said it will hold a meeting next week with police to discuss safety.

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