Man Shops for Tomatoes Before Robbing Edison Park's Happy Foods at Gunpoint

A man who robbed Happy Foods in Chicago’s Edison Park neighborhood threatened three female employees with a gun after shopping for tomatoes, authorities and employees said.

The robbery took place around 1 p.m. Friday at the grocery store at 6783 N. Northwest Highway.

The store’s owner, Dale Eastman, said a man entered the store and perused the aisles before holding up two female clerks and a bagger. 

“All of a sudden a guy comes up, puts his tomatoes down and pulls a gun, like, ‘Open your registers,’” said 22-year-old employee Leticia Alvarez, a bagger at the store. “So we panicked of course.”

Alvarez said the cashiers opened the register, but no one was expecting what happened that night.

“He just started grabbing the money and as soon as he walked out, he just walked out like nothing,” Alvarez said.

The store’s manager, Donald Lappe, said the man was shopping for about 10 minutes before he approached the register. He believes the man waited for other customers to leave before holding it up.

“Almost everyone is cops or firemen, almost everyone here,” he said. “Almost 10 to 15 off-duty cops here today. They carry guns.”

Eastman said he’s just happy no employees or customers were hurt in the robbery.

“The main concern is my employees’ safety and customers,” he said. “Anything else after that can be replaced.”

Police were still searching for a suspect Monday and an investigation remained ongoing.

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