Crime in Chicago: Police department warns of lakeside restaurant and break-ins at food stand on Lake Shore Drive near museum campus

CHICAGO (WLS) — The Chicago Police Department has warned lakeside restaurants and food stalls about recent burglaries.

Someone broke into three businesses by smashing windows in August and September, police said. They took cash registers and cash drawers. In a fourth incident, the attacker drilled a hole in the roof of a business to steal a cash register.

In most of these burglaries, the owners said the thief did not get away with a lot of money. In one case, he even left empty-handed.

But damage was left behind, along with lingering concerns.

The burglaries occurred Aug. 31 near the museum campus in the 1100 block of South Lake Shore Drive East at 7 p.m. and in the 1400 block of South Lake Shore Drive West from 6 p.m. to 11 a.m. the next day, police said. Further burglaries occurred on September 8 in the 700 block of East Solidarity Drive at 3:46 a.m. and in the 200 block of North Lake Shore Drive at 4:56 a.m.

“Downtown and Lakeside was truly one of the safest places you could be,” said Cafe Michelle manager Khaled “Charlie” Alia.

In Alia’s six years running the city’s lakeside Michelle Cafe, he said “things have been going great” so far.

Security video shows a man breaking into the restaurant’s bar early Thursday morning.

In the footage, you can see one of the cameras being moved before another angle captures a man wearing a surgical mask, black hoodie and red gloves making his way through the door and behind the bar before walking away quickly.

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“It gets dark here at night,” Alia said. “Fortunately, there was not much damage and nothing was taken, but now you have to worry about it every day!”

That same morning, a nearby Dip-n-Dots food stand was also robbed.

Police are now linking the suspect to at least four business burglaries along the lake.

“There is no police presence and we were open until 11 p.m. Now at 8 p.m. it’s a ghost town here by the lake. The people in the buildings behind us have scared to go down to the edge of the lake,” Alia said.

But, until her concerns are resolved, Alia believes these burglaries will threaten to eat away at her income.

“If you close three or four hours early, people don’t come to dinner, it hurts the pocket,” Alia added.

Police encouraged business owners to have and maintain a functioning surveillance system. Police have asked anyone with information to call 312-744-8263.

So far, no one is in custody.

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