South Loop businesses on high alert after criminals strike

Several businesses in the South Loop are on high alert after criminals busted through doors and windows to steal money.

FOX 32 NEWS - Several businesses in the South Loop are on high alert after criminals busted through doors and windows to steal money.

The break-ins happened near Michigan Avenue between 17th and 27th streets. The suspects left behind smashed windows and frustrated business owners.

It took less than 20 seconds for one man to smash through the front door of the South Loop Market, go behind the counter and run out with hundreds of dollars.

“We make an honest living and we expect everyone else to do the same thing,” said store co-manager Anas Masoud.

The market near 17th and Michigan was vandalized just after 3 a.m. Tuesday morning. Masoud says in the past month, three of his four locations have been struck.

“We work hard to do what we do, to earn the income that we do and provide for the neighborhood, so for somebody to come and steal that away from you is very frustrating,” Masoud said.

Glass littered the sidewalk outside Ms. Catwalk, a clothing boutique near 23rd and South Michigan. The owners say their front door was shattered and the cash register with money inside was stolen. 

And about one block away, front doors on a muffler shop and currency exchange were also damaged. Inside the currency exchange near Cermak and S Wabash, a window was damaged inside from perhaps a bullet shot by the burglar. 

“People can't just run a business, try to make money without someone taking stuff from them, it's just unnecessary,” said resident Jason Deatherage.

Hours before these businesses were struck, Rogers Auto Group was the target where two SUV’s were stolen by three men. Two of them were carrying guns.

“He was fixing a couple of the vehicles down here with the keys in the vehicle, and they just came up and took the cars,” said sales manager Victor Ordonez.

And police say they are still trying to figure out if the crimes are connected.

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