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Police Investigating If Lakeview Burglaries Are Connected

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A handful of Lakeview businesses were victimized in a rash of burglaries since Thursday. Police are working to see if the crimes are connected.

Police say at least three businesses were burglarized in Lakeview Thursday to overnight Friday. Two of the businesses, Roscoe's and The Alley, have video images showing a man that appears to be the same person committing the crime.

CBS 2's Jeremy Ross reports the owner of The Alley says the thief broke into his business through the back door, prying it open. He says they have since reinforced the door and are offering an incentive to find out who is responsible.

"The Alley's always been a kind of counter culture department store, everything from t-shirts to boots," said Mark Thomas, owner of The Alley.

Surveillance video shows a man breaking into and walking through the store early Thursday morning. Multiple cameras caught the crowbar-carrying crook raiding the register, prying open another, and perusing without paying for products.

"He was shopping for a leather coat. He found out all the hangers were locked," Thomas said. "He came in with a crowbar. He was on a mission."

Nearby Roscoe's says they were also burglarized Thursday. The thief, however, may have been scared off by the alarm. Doors were damaged, likely from a crowbar. The business shared an image of the man they believe was responsible.

The picture is blurry, but it looks like a similar picture to the man spotted inside The Alley.

Police have not confirmed if it is the same person, but they are investigating if the crimes are related.

"He took a lot of chances for 200 bucks," Thomas said. "We're hoping someone turns this guy in."

Thomas is offering up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the man who broke in.

Police say a nearby Lakeview restaurant was also burglarized overnight Friday. The criminal got in through the back door and targeted the register. Police are also investigating that crime.

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