The Chicago Police Department recently advised businesses in its 14th District to install special shatter-proof glass window protectors to keep their stores safe after a recent series of break-ins.
“This alert gives notice to businesses in the 14th District of recent burglaries in the overnight hours,” the April 30 police alert states.
“The Offender breaks the front/side glass windows of said businesses by means of rock/brick/crowbar to gain entry. Once inside they steal money from cash register, the cash register itself, safe, and liquor.”
The CPD’s community alert said that one storefront was targeted in this smash-and-grab fashion on four different occasions between March 17 and April 15.
This same suspect also targeted two other storefronts, with police describing him as “wearing dark clothing, green gloves, and a dark jacket with fur around the [hood]”.
The police added that there was an “unknown black male getaway driver with a red Nissan Murano.”
The CPD community alert advises local businesses to be aware and watch out for one another, quickly call police if they see a possible break-in, check that security cameras are functioning properly, and “if possible, use ArmorPlast, an unbreakable shield that fits over existing glass.”
ArmorPlast is a series of products made from polycarbonate plastic that can be installed over windows and glass doors to prevent break-ins. ArmorPlast was developed by a company called Riot Glass. The company describes its products as a means of protecting against storm damage, smash-and-grab theft, rioting and looting, and active shooter situations.
“We want to keep the bad guys outside the building—and that’s what the product does,” Riot Glass founder Brad Campbell told CBS.
It was not immediately clear if Chicago police have advised installing Riot Glass products in other city areas. NTD News reached out to CPD for comment, but they did not respond by the time this article was published.
Crime in Chicago
The recent break-ins at stores in Chicago’s 14th District are part of a larger trend in crime in the city.
Instances of robbery, theft, and burglary are on the rise throughout the city, according to CPD crime statistics.
By the end of 2022, Chicago had recorded 14 percent more robberies, 14 percent more burglaries, and 56 percent more theft’s than it had the year prior.
Instances of robbery, theft, and burglary in Chicago in 2023 are already outpacing 2022 crime rates.
According to the most recent CPD crime figures, the number of robberies recorded in the city is 17 percent higher so far this year than it was at the same point last year, while burglary is eight percent higher and theft is 22 percent higher.
In Chicago’s 14th Police District, robbery is 16 percent higher so far this year than it was by the same point last year. Burglary is up 31 percent, and theft is up 36 percent compared to this point in time last year.
Tamer Jaradat, an employee at Western Food & Grocery—one of the businesses targeted in the recent string of smash-and-grabs in the 14th District—told CBS that police are becoming less responsive when the store reports some crimes.
“Now, if you call the cops like too much, every day, for stealing a bag of chips or pop, they’re not going to show up in 10 or 20 minutes like before. It takes time,” Jaradat said.