chicago crime

Surveillance video captures burglaries, break-ins at 2 popular Chicago restaurants

The burglaries at Lula Cafe and Piccolo Sogno come as reports of Chicago restaurant break-ins become more frequent

NBC Universal, Inc.

Two popular Chicago restaurants were recently targeted by burglars as reports say restaurant burglaries in Chicago have skyrocketed in recent weeks.

Lula Cafe, located 2537 N. Kedzie Blvd. on the Northwest Side., was one of four businesses struck by thieves between 3:08 and 4:53 a.m. in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 30, police said.

Chicago police issued a community alert about the burglaries on Sunday, explaining the suspects used a tire iron to break the establishment's door and gain entry before stealing cash, safes or electronics. Surveillance footage showed three suspects donning masks and long-hooded sweatshirts exiting the business.

One of the suspects walked away with the restaurant's safe, authorities said.

The group drove away in a four-door black Infiniti sedan with unknown registration, police said.

Times and locations of the other burglaries are listed below:

  • 3:08 a.m. - 2400 block of West Division Street
  • 4:47 a.m. - 3100 block of West Armitage Avenue
  • 4:53 a.m. - 2600 block of West Division Street

Anyone with information was asked to contact the Area Five Bureau of Detectives at 312-746-7394.

Last month, the restaurant took home Chicago's only 2024 James Beard award, winning the "Outstanding Hospitality." Lula Cafe also appeared in Chicago's 2023 Michelin Guide as a "Bib Gourmand" pick.

Monday, Chef Tony Priolo of Piccolo Sogno, located at 464 N. Halsted in River North, said the Italian restaurant had also recently been a victim of a burglary.

In a story posted to Instagram, Priolo shared photos and video of what appeared to be security footage showing a break-in. Photos shared with NBC Chicago showed a the front door of the restaurant with shattered glass and equipment and bar materials strewn on the ground.

"Always be aware of your surroundings," Chicago police said in the alert. "If confront by an assailant, remain calm."

According to officials, detectives were investigating.

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