A Chicago small business owner had the difficult task of cleaning up his West Side clothing store Friday after thieves targeted his business for the fourth time in recent months and got away with more than $40,000 in merchandise.
Multiple thieves broke into Flee Club, 2221 W. Taylor St., Friday morning as security cameras caught the crime in action. The suspects shattered the outside glass and then pried open security shutters, according to owner Darris Kelly.
"It’s definitely hard right now," he said in an interview. "It keeps happening, and I did everything. I have two security guards here every day. So, it’s like I’m doing my part."
Kelly said the thieves grabbed sneakers, jeans and jackets on the ground level. They then opened the cash register, went downstairs and stole more items.
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"It's definitely tough to watch," the owner said. "It’s just like getting they’re in my house. It’s devastating. Taking all this stuff that I paid for. It’s just devastating."
A few feet away, thieves also stole cash and merchandise from a nearby mini mart.
Kelly said he opened the location on Taylor Street after his prior store was looted in 2020.
"I mean, stuff like this, makes you want to move to a different, different town," he said. "Start a business somewhere else, instead of in Chicago."
Chicago police said no one was in custody as detectives continued to investigate Friday.
"Definitely, I want the police to find them," he said. "I need my stuff back, you know? And it’s happening too many times. All I’m doing is something for the community, you know?"