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Cameras catch Northwest Side Chicago restaurant being burglarized for second time

Northwest Side Chicago restaurant burglary caught on camera
Northwest Side Chicago restaurant burglary caught on camera 02:49

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A restaurant in the Irving Park neighborhood has been broken into several times – and the thieves have been caught in action on camera.

In the wake of the burglaries, the business owners called on the City of Chicago do more to prevent such crimes.

The burglary happened on Sunday at Big League Burgers, 3734 W. Irving Park Rd. By Wednesday, it was back to business as usual there – but the damage left behind was still visible, with a board on the door.

Meanwhile, a sense of fear lingered beneath the mouthwatering aromas of beef patties and grilled onions.

"Everybody's scared to come back to work and so forth, because they don't know what's going to happen the next day," said owner Peter Mihopoulos. "it's a day-to-day trying to recover.

The burglary happened around 5 a.m. Sunday. The business was closed at the time, but the entire chain of events was caught on surveillance camera from start to finish.

"They came through the back alley. They parked their cars. There was a total of five of them," Mihopoulos said. "They cut through the patio screen in the back side, and then they walked right over the guardrail we have in the patio."

The masked suspects first made a hole in through a door. Next, at least two of them jumped onto the counter and rummaged through an empty cash drawer.

The other thieves headed straight to the back office.

"They kicked the door 10 or 12 times, I think it was, before they go into it," said Mihopoulos.

The thieves knocked the entire door to the office right off its hinges. They searched the entire office before grabbing a pouch with cash.

The thieves then ran out the door and got back into the dark-colored Kia in which they had arrived.

"All together, it took them about five, six minutes," Mihopoulos said.

Police showed up at Big League Burgers minutes later, with burglar alarms still blaring.

"It's heartbreaking," said Mihopoulos. "It's sad what's going on."

For Mihopoulos, it's especially hard – since this was the second time his restaurant has been burglarized in the past year and a half.

In November 2022, Mihopoulos was the victim of another burglary – which was also caught on video.

"Everybody's got to step up. There has to be more patrolling going around - especially at the time when this happens during the night," Mihopoulos said. "We know there aren't enough of them, but they have to get together and figure out what to do about the situation."

Mihopoulos said the suspects caused more in damage to the restaurant than the value of the little cash they got away with.

CBS 2 checked with Chicago Police, who said as of late Wednesday, they were still investigating and there were no arrests.

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