Chicago Police to City Businesses Facing Rising Crime: “Buy Riot Glass”

Chicago is a difficult place to own a business.  Riots, looting and burglaries make it almost impossible for retailers to survive.

Smash-and-grab thieves robbed a Rolls Royce dealership in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood in December and made off with millions in luxury watches.

Thieves attacked and pepper-sprayed a security guard while robbing two luxury retail stores in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood.

Retails, like Walmart, say they are losing tens of millions of dollars a year operating in Chicago and have announced the closure of four stores.

In recent months, business in Chicago’s Wicker Park and Humboldt park have been hit hard. A community alert sent out by police to area businesses suggests they beef up their security and install ArmorPlast, a type of invisible shatterproof shield produced by a company called Riot Glass that is installed over existing glass, to protect themselves, according to a CBS News report Monday.

Fox Business reports:

The advice came after a string of burglaries in the area, with Chicago Police noting that most of the burglaries showed similar characteristics. According to the alert, thieves typically break in from side or front glass windows using rocks, bricks or a crowbar, then enter the business to steal money and other items such as liquor.

Chicago Police specifically pointed to ArmorPlast in the alert, which founder Brad Campbell says can help keep thieves out of businesses.

“We want to keep the bad guys outside the building – and that’s what the product does,” he told CBS News.

According to Chicago Police Department data, burglaries in the city are on pace to reach 2,253 this year, which would represent a 6% increase over 2022 numbers.

The rise in what some have called “smash and grabs” have employees in businesses throughout the city on edge, with some reporting being the target of multiple burglaries in recent months.

Usually, people fear their lives too. Like, I have seven kids,” Tamer Jaradat, and employee at Western Food & Grocery, told CBS News. “If it takes me having to protect my life or my business, I’m going to do it.”

Jaradat said the business has been hit multiple times in recent memory, including one instance where thieves stole an entire ATM from the building.

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