CHICAGO - The owners of a Chicago boutique shop spoke out Tuesday after they were looted this week for the second time in three months, sustaining merchandise losses worth more than $25,000.
Londo Mondo owners Carrie and Ken Londe told "The Story" their store was initially looted in May during unrest following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. At the time, the couple were prearing to reopen their shop, which was already reeling from the effects of coronavirus lockdown orders.
The store was looted for a second time at 2:30 a.m Monday, when intruders took more than $25,000 worth of merchandise from the women's fashion boutique.
"Two days before we were supposed to reopen ... a wave of looters happened," Carrie Londe said. "Well, then we were back up and open. Two days later, unfortunately, it happened again and this time much worse."
On Monday, members of the Chicago Black Lives Matter organization held a rally to support the more than 100 people arrested the night before following widespread looting and rioting that caused at least $60 million in property damage and saw 13 police officers injured.
At one point, BLM organizer Ariel Atkins called the looting tantamount to "reparations," telling the crowd, “I don’t care if someone decides to loot a Gucci or a Macy’s or a Nike store, because that makes sure that person eats. That makes sure that person has clothes. That is reparations. Anything they wanted to take, they can take it because these businesses have insurance.”
As the violence escalted throughout Sunday night, Ken Londe said he was forced to protect his store "with a cell phone in my hand pretending I was on the phone with the police because the police were not there."
"I know that they are trying to do their best. But from what I understand, they are told not to engage and stop these thieves unless ... personal harm [was] being threatened or done to individuals," he said. " So there has been no increased police presence that I have noticed since the first riots and that needs to happen."
Asked to impart a final message to the looters who repeatedly destroyed their business that took "over 30-plus years to build up" Carrie said, "Lawlessness is not the answer."
"It is not going to better us as a society, to have people stealing from people because it forces us into a militant state, and we are not equipped ... we are business owners. We are not equipped to defend our stores. So it can't happen that way," she argued.
"And as a society, we can't go down that path where we are all either defending ourselves or stealing from each other. It is just not the way we can survive and evolve."
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Fox News' David Aaro contributed to this report.