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Search on for burglars who smashed into South Side Chicago liquor store, other spots

Burglars rip down security shutters, steal from Chicago liquor store
Burglars rip down security shutters, steal from Chicago liquor store 02:46

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A burglary crew was caught on camera early Friday—smashing through a liquor store in the Beverly neighborhood, stealing all kinds of valuable spirits, and taking off.

The thieves had some sophisticated tactics—and targeted more than one spot.

Western Avenue is busy most times of the day and night. Yet early Friday morning around 3 a.m., a bunch thieves believed to be in stolen cars blocked a portion the street and went to town breaking into a liquor store.

Inside Town Armanetti Beverage Mart, 10000 S. Western Ave., the Friday night rush could not make up for the huge loss the owners had overnight.

The front door was boarded up.

"It's unusual for them to come down in this particular area, because it's a lot of firemen and policemen in this vicinity," said customer Bashee Brown.

Yet Friday morning, a crew in three vehicles pulled up to the intersection of 100th Street and Western Avenue just before 3 a.m. Several men with masks jumped out—and quickly got busy trying to gain entry into the store.

"I know for a fact there's very little traffic in this vicinity at 3 a.m. in the morning," said Brown. "So you know, as a consumer, it's actually sad for the community."

Surveillance video shows the thieves blocking the southbound lanes of Western Avenue as they hitched a chain to a car. They then used the vehicle to tear down the security shutters.

The masked men went on to remove the shutters and broke the glass. After that, anywhere from five to six thieves started loading up the high-end liquor.

"A significant amount of inventory," said Ald. Matt O'Shea (19th), "a very hefty price for the owner."

O'Shea considers the burglary bold and planned.

"They set up shop here on Western Avenue," O'Shea said. "This took several minutes, but yet they blocked the street and committed this horrible crime."

It turned out the crew was busy breaking into more than just the one Beverly business.

"The latest information from the Chicago Police Department is more than four businesses were hit last night by this crew," O'Shea said. "Several members, several stolen cars involved—and considerable damage at every location."

It was not clear late Friday how much damage the crew caused at the longstanding South Side business.

"We're going to rally as community," the alderman said. "We're going to come here, and we're going to support them."

Once the word got out about the break-in, customers also showed up to help the owners.

"Man, I love this area—you know, it's sad for businesses," said Brown.

The other liquor store location hit by the burglary crew was on Ashland Avenue. The crew then moved to the south suburbs.

Late Friday, no one was in custody—but police have surveillance video from the Western Avenue and from nearby POD cameras to help them find the perpetrators.

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