Surveillance cameras captured an alleged thief climbing a ladder onto the roof of a popular South Side Chicago restaurant just before the lights went out.
Workers later discovered valuable items missing from the building, a move that could destroy a beloved business that has become a staple in the community.
“My heart is broken because this is a lot,” said Josephine Wade, affectionately known to many as “Mother Wade.” “It’s a financial burden.”
According to Wade, copper wiring was stolen from the building Tuesday night, rendering her eatery, Capt. Hard Times, without electricity.
“With how they cut it, we have to take this totally out and redo the whole system,” she said.
The damage is estimated to be near $10,000.
“It’s a big job, a very big job,” Wade said.
Capt. Hard Times in the city’s Chatham neighborhood has been a resource for students and residents over the last 50 years as it aims to keep the legacy of soul food alive. Now, Wade is forced to just try and keep her restaurant alive.
The restaurant on East 79th Street is currently preparing meals by flashlight to keep business running. Longtime customers and community members say it’s sad to see.
“It’s a shame,” said Larry Roberts of Larry’s Barber College. “Is there anything sacred left in our community?”
The theft has left the future of the restaurant uncertain.