Security on the Magnificent Mile has been heightened throughout the holiday season because of robberies at high-profile retailers, and customers are once again reacting this week after two stores were hit by robbers within 10 minutes of one another Wednesday.
Both robberies occurred in the first block of East Oak Street on Wednesday evening. The first robbery occurred just after 5 p.m. at the Prada Store, according to Chicago police. Just 10 minutes later, the Hermes Store across the street was burglarized, and a security guard working at the door was sprayed with mace by an assailant.
Police say that more than $20,000 in merchandise was stolen in the two thefts.
Store owners stepped up security at both locations on Thursday, with security guards letting guests in and out of the store and locking the door at all other times.
Chicago police are continuing to patrol the area on foot and in squad cars, but even with the heightened procedures, some shoppers still say they are nervous.
“I think it’s ridiculous, and I feel bad that the cops don’t have more power,” one shopper said.
“It’s out of control. There are no consequences and I wonder if it’s the same people doing it over and over again,” another added.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot unveiled new strategies to combat the high-profile robberies in the city’s main shopping district, but some aldermen are questioning whether she can achieve her goals.
“We have to do something as a city,” Ald. Brian Hopkins said. “We can’t put this on the retailers. That’s not their responsibility.”