Saturday, October 23, 2021

Chicago Succumbs to Organized Retail Crime

In many of America’s large blue cities the 2020 insurrection has never really stopped. In the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd organized criminal gangs, inspired by Black Lives Matter protests, decided that lawlessnes should become a way of life. They set about systematically to loot and pillage retail establishments throughout their cities, thereby encouraging more and more retailers to close up shop. It is worth mentioning that cities lose money when looters do not pay sales tax.

It is not just the covid pandemic that is hollowing out urban storefronts in places like San Francisco and Chicago. Pro-criminal prosecutors have let the looters know that they will not intervene to stop shoplifting. 

The results are visible in Chicago. One understands that the mayor Lori Lightweight and the State Prosecutor Kim Foxx are basically responsible for destroying their cities. If you criticize them you will be called out as-- a racist.

The Daily Mail reports:

Chicago is the latest city to be hit by rampant shoplifting and its Magnificent Mile, the once highly-populated retail destination, is now dotted with empty storefronts as businesses are being driven away by the brazen thieves.

The city has been plagued by a string of robberies and a wave of crime in the past few months, as some say that the city's 'soft-on-crime' policies embolden the thieves. The issue may only grow worse as at least 50 cops have been put on unpaid leave for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Shoplifting cases grew more common following a December 2016 motion from State's Attorney Kim Foxx that mandated Chicago prosecutors only issue felony charges for theft of property over $1,000.

Her office said at the time that the move was meant to shift focus to the driving factors of the crimes instead of low-level offenses. In turn, however, thieves know they can grab armfuls of merchandise without being stopped by store security.

Apparently, no one cares. Public safety and the value of real estate-- thus tax revenue-- have been taking serious hits:

'It's a serious problem, and we have to address it,' Alderman Brian Hopkins told CBS Chicago, explaining that the issue affects commercial real estate as well as public safety.

'The commercial brokers tell us that when they get potential interest from a tenant, that's one of the first questions they ask, is what's happening in Chicago to stem the tide of retail shoplifting rings that have been operating with impunity downtown? And we don't have a good answer right now for that.'

Hopkins added, 'I think we have to look at prosecution. Clearly there's a feeling running through the criminal elements that there are no consequences here. We have to look to the courts, and I think we have to just look to all the players in this drama to get Chicago to what it once was.'  

Of course, it’s not just a feeling. There are no real consequences to looting. One understands that the new policies are singling out certain groups and giving them a right to pillage. It’s almost as though pillaging is a more modern form of reparations, owed to certain people. 

While the national Democratic Party is ginning up the outrage against the January 6 demonstrators, members of inner city minority communities have been allowed to rob, loot, steal and pillage, at will.

On Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, a number of major retailers have closed down.

Top chain stores that closed their doors on the Magnificent Mile: 



Disney Store


Forever 21

Tommy Bahama



Dylan's Candy Bar

Na Hoku



Columbia Sportswear

Stores throughout Chicago's Magnificent Mile are doing the same as Macy's closed its 170,000-square-foot flagship store in Water Tower Place last spring, Japanese retailer Uniqlo closed its 60,000-square-foot store in August and the Disney Store closed its 7,000-square-foot location on Michigan Avenue last month.

In the past few years, Gap, Forever 21 and Tommy Bahama have also closed stores on the Magnificent Mile. The vacancy rate has skyrocketed from 11 percent in 2019 to 19 percent this year, according to ABC 7.

The evidence is available on tape.

Late last month, a gang of shoplifters was filmed brazenly ransacking UIta Beauty store in the Windy City's Norridge suburb over the weekend. Footage showed a gang of three hooded thieves emptying its shelves of expensive Christian Dior and Armani makeup into black trash bags.

It was shared on social media Monday, with the shocked cameraman, who hasn't been named, saying: 'Look at this, this is insane,' as he films the theft unfolding before his eyes.

It came as CWB Chicago reported Chicago's stores have been targeted by three different organized crime gangs. One of those gangs has been targeting upmarket designer stores on the city's Magnificent Mile, whose businesses were hit by looting in summer 2020 during riots in the wake of George Floyd's murder.

The second has targeted at least three Ulta Beauty stores - although it's currently unclear if that is the same gang filmed at the Norridge location. And a third gang has been raiding Walgreen's drug stores to steal cigarettes.

The first shoplifting crew was stealing from high-end Chicago stores between the Magnificent Mile and Rush Street, according to CWB Chicago. Twelve men were seen involved in a raid of 35 handbags at Bottega Veneta on September 27 - which go for thousands of dollars each- and left in two separate cars, including a gray Honda CRV.

The same crew allegedly attempted to steal from Salvatore Ferragamo an hour before but left after they were believed to be recognized by the store's security guard. They already reportedly stole $43,000 worth of the store's merchandise in August and injured the security guard during the theft.

Chicago is not alone on this score. 

Chicago's pattern of crime and shoplifting mirrors that of other cities like San Francisco, in which Walgreens announced that it is shuttering another five of its stores because of rampant shoplifting by thieves who sell the items outside the drugstore chain's doors. 

The national chain has closed 17 of its 70 San Francisco locations in the past two years because of the shelf raiders, who have swiped everything not behind lock and key.

Thefts in the chain's 53 remaining stores are five times the average for their stores elsewhere in the country, according to company officials.

San Francisco and Walgreens officials have cited 'organized retail crime' - in which the thieves sell the swiped merchandise outside the stores - as a main reason for the most recent closures.

'Organized retail crime continues to be a challenge facing retailers across San Francisco, and we are not immune to that,' Walgreens spokesperson Phil Caruso told the Daily Mail last Wednesday.

'Retail theft across our San Francisco stores has continued to increase in the past few months to five times our chain average.'

Blue America has become lawless. The people in charge do not care. They must see the looting as a righteous response to a lack of diversity in America’s institutions. In the meantime, Mayor Lightweight is about to fire a large number of police officer for the serious crime of not taking the Covid vaccine.


JPL17 said...

Something's seriously not adding up here. These are all quotes from the same Daily Mail article:

"State's Attorney Kim Foxx ... mandated Chicago prosecutors only issue felony charges for theft of property over $1,000."

"Twelve men were seen involved in a raid of 35 handbags at Bottega Veneta on September 27 - which go for thousands of dollars each...."

"They already reportedly stole $43,000 worth of the store's merchandise in August ...."

"[They also] injured the security guard during the theft."

What's infuriating is that the DA's policy only directs non-prosecution of felony retail theft, and only if the value of stolen goods is $1,000 or less. Yet the thefts in this article involve sums much greater than $1,000, and the violence committed against a security guard converts that retail theft into felony robbery. Yet these clearly prosecutable felonies don't even result in arrests?

What on earth is happening in Chicago???

IamDevo said...

Say, doc, I have noticed a certain trend in your articles of late, to wit, they mostly seem to catalogue the events, trends, thoughts and vignettes that describe the downward trajectory of our civilization. Are you becoming our internet Gibbon?

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Always on the lookout for good news-- please feel free to send me some.

Sam L. said...

I's Chi-Town: robbery, murder, and all sorts of things is/are how Chi-town remains Chi-town. I was there, once, as a kid. Never went back.

markedup2 said...

It is worth mentioning that cities lose money when looters do not pay sales tax.
I think you won Teh Interwebz with that one.

They lose even more when the stores close and no one is paying sales tax and then property values decline, lowering property tax collections, too.

I believe this is case where nothing more that schadenfreude is appropriate. There are no wider, national repercussions. These places are getting what they voted for - good and hard. Good for them; enjoy the hell holes you're creating.