A Burberry store on Chicago’s famed Magnificent Mile that has been repeatedly targeted by brazen smash-and-grab robbers in recent weeks now appears to be guarded by two vehicles in the overnight hours.
The purported makeshift barricade, made up of an SUV and a pickup truck blocking the door at 633 North Michigan Avenue after hours, first appeared earlier this week, as CBS Chicago reported.
The same store has been ransacked by criminals three times since late November, including twice last week.
Chicago has been in the throes of a crime wave over the past couple of years, with robbery and theft rates up 51 per cent and 44 per cent, respectively, according to the most recent data.
The Burberry store on North Michigan Avenue in Chicago appears to have created a makeshift barricade made up of two vehicles parked in front of its entrance to thwart would-be thieves
It comes after the luxury store has been repeatedly targeted by thieves, most recently on January 6
On January 4, five crooks made their way inside the store, ransacked it and drove off in a white SUV
Chicago’s Magnificent Mile has been the epicenter of smash-and-grab robberies
The Second City’s busy shopping district around the area of North Michigan Avenue has become the epicenter of smash-and-grab robberies, with roving bands of youths swarming luxury stores, grabbing merchandise and fleeing.
A similar trend has been seen in other large American cities, including San Francisco and Los Angeles, which have progressive district attorneys and lenient punishments for non-violent offenses, such as retail crime.
Burberry has not publicly commented on the alleged use of vehicles to barricade the entrance to the Chicago store. DailyMail.com on Thursday reached out to the brand seeking comment and was awaiting a reply.
The Chicago Department of Transportation, which oversees city sidewalks, told CBS on Wednesday that it was not aware of the vehicles parked outside Burberry during overnight hours and would be sending an inspector.
Before 5am on January 6, a group of six burglars, two of them armed with guns, broke into the Burberry store, stole valuables and fled in a pickup truck, police said, according to WLS-TV reporting.
On November 29, four men swarmed the Burberry location and stole tens of thousands of dollars worth of handbags
Just two days earlier, five crooks made their way inside the same store, ransacked it and drove off in a white SUV.
At around 4.20pm on November 29, four men swarmed the Burberry location and stole tens of thousands of dollars worth of handbags.
As the crooks were fleeing, a 23-year-old store employee tried to close the doors and was shoved aside, and a 66-year-old tourist was struck by a door.
No suspects have been arrested in connection with any one of those heists.
Burberry is not the only business in Chicago to have been ransacked by organized smash-and-grab gangs.
In November, more than a dozen people rushed into a Louis Vuitton store in the Chicago suburb of Oakbrook and stole $120,000 worth of items, which they were seen on surveillance video hauling away in garbage bags.
Robbery and theft rates are up 51 per cent and 44 per cent, respectively, in Chicago
In December, a pair of thieves entered Gold Coast Auto Gallery, smashed display cases and made out with a $1million worth of high-end watches.
Days later, police said a 16-year-old girl robbed the Niketown and Zara stores on North Michigan Avenue and used a Taser on a security guard. She was later arrested.
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul said in September that large-scale store thefts orchestrated by organized crime rings are costing retailers across the US an estimated $45billion in annual losses.
Raoul has formed the Organized Retail Crime Task Force comprised of public and private entities to tackle the problem head on.
‘These brazen, violent crimes are committed by sophisticated criminal organizations that are involved in drug trafficking, human trafficking and other serious crimes,’ Raoul said at the time.