Looting cripples Wicker Park and Bucktown businesses: Downtown businesses suffer worse


Garfield's Beverage Express being boarded up


Shoes and boxes lay in front of store's doors

Looters were on a rampage along Milwaukee, Ashland and Elston Avenues in Wicker Park and Bucktown throughout the early morning hours of Sunday, May 31.

While their businesses are crippled for a while, many more Chicago loop businesses face even worse destruction Saturday night.

Wicker Park and Bucktown
During a drive in the Wicker Park and Bucktown areas Sunday morning, I located six stores that had been looted overnight. 


Kally Chu and Daniel Walbright explained what they experienced during looting

Foot Locker, 1237 N. Milwaukee Ave., had their door smashed and the inside metal gate mangled. Shoes and boxes laid on the ground just outside the door. 

"I've lived in this building for about three years and there have been about five robberies," said Daniel Walbright. "But it was nothing like this. Normally they just break the windows and take display shoes." 

"It started about midnight," said Kally Chu. "They broke in. Then at about 5 a.m. they started coming back again.

"There was a group of about ten cars all lined up. People swarmed in the store. The cops would come, then leave. Then the cars would return. It was crazy." 


The Sprint Store has smashed glass hanging in window

Up Milwaukee at Garfield's Beverage Express, 1336 N. Milwaukee Ave., a board-up service was just finishing installing a second wood "window" at the wine, spirits and craft beer store that opened in 2018. 

Adam Silverstein, CEO of Garfield's had just finished cleaning up. "Our other store [1704 N. Milwaukee Ave.] was hit worse than this one," he explained. "It's all about getting merchandise they can sell." 

Adidas, 1532 N. Milwaukee, was broken into before midnight Saturday. With shoots fired reported, an offender was captured in the 2000 block of W. Schiller, sources say. 

The Sprint Store, 1624 N. Milwaukee Ave., had a front window shattered. The alarm was screaming in distress and the 14th District Police officer was parked in her car close by, waiting for someone from the store to arrive.


Metal gate was forced open and front doors shattered at Best Buy


14th District Officers discuss some merchandise rescued from thieves at Best Buy

At 2100 N. Elston, the Best Buy store, had boxes, empty and filled, strewn in front of the store. A red Dodge vehicle was sitting in the parking lot with a cloth over its front license plate.

According to officers onsite, the driver of the Dodge returned after the initial looting, to get even more merchandise. He was caught and arrested. 


Police officers arrive at T-Mobile

In the shopping center at 1300 N. Ashland Ave., T-Mobile was also stripped of its cell phones and other merchandise. 

According to a gentleman at the scene, a worker in another nearby business arrived at 4 a.m. and the T-Mobile store and already been robbed and vandalized. 

In downtown Chicago on Saturday night, the two clips below show cameraman Robert Gurskis' film of mayhem, looting and burning as well as CBS News Chicago's Dave Savini coverage of the devastation in Macy's on State St.





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