Three Chicago-area Sports Authority stores have been ransacked by flash mobs in the past week, prompting the chain to offer a $5,000 reward for anyone with information on the caught-on-camera robberies.
Surveillance footage from the incidents shows a large group of people entering the stores and dashing out with entire racks or handfuls of sporting goods.
Janet Reinhardt, a spokeswoman with Sports Authority, said the “organized retail crime group” entered and robbed Chicago’s Clark Street location on Saturday and the Burbank and Frankfurt locations on Monday.
Footage from the Burbank store’s surveillance cameras shows a store employee racing out after the thieves but not in time to catch them.
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According to the Burbank Police Department, the robbery at that store happened at about 1 p.m. Monday, and involved five males between 15-20 years old who grabbed several display racks of Starter jackets.
Security devices kept most of the jackets attached to the racks, but store officials say two jackets were stolen and three others damaged during the brazen theft.
Chicago Police News Affairs did not have information about the robberies but said they are looking into the matter. Sports Authority said the company is working with police.
“At Sports Authority, the comfort and safety of our employees and customers always remains our top priority,” the company said in a statement. “We are actively working with law enforcement into the investigation of the recent thefts at our store locations in Cook County.”
Sports Authority is offering the reward for information leading to an arrest and asks anyone with information to call 877-872-6959.
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