Chicago police are looking for thieves who robbed a luxury car dealership in the city’s Near North Side neighborhood on Saturday.
One stood suspect by the door with a gun while the other smashed a display case with a hammer, stealing at least eight luxury watches worth millions.
The two men entered Gold Coast Auto Gallery on Saturday and conducted the robbery in less than 20 seconds.
Dealership owner Joe Perillo told FOX 32 Mayor Lori Lightfoot and other officials need to take action or businesses are going to leave the city.
‘I have a place in the suburbs. The place is wonderful. There’s no crime out there,’ he said. ‘People don’t want to come into the city.’
Ten customers, including children, were in the Near North Side neighborhood Bentley, Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce dealership Saturday afternoon when the robbery took place.
The suspects, masked and wearing hoodies, entered the store around noon.
They ran off with the Richard Mille timepieces, some of which retailed at millions of dollars each.
The total value of the watches and exact models have not been shared, although the timepieces have been likened to supercars because of the level of engineering required to produce them.
Employees ran after the robbers but were unable to apprehend them.
‘We ran after them on Chestnut, all the way to State Street, and then they split up,’ said Joe Abbas, dealership co-owner, told ABC 7.
Perillo said the robbers were ‘smart enough’ not to brandish their weapons.
‘He was smart enough not to raise the gun because my people had guns,’ he said. ‘If he raised that gun, he would have been shot, we’d probably be in court defending ourselves.’
Abbas, who is a father, noted: ‘I have little kids. I don’t want to get shot here.’
Thankfully, no one was injured during the robbery or the chase.
Police, who had already issued extra patrols on Saturday after teenagers flooded the city’s downtown last weekend and caused havoc, are still trying to identify the robbers.
Perillo is demanding Mayor Lightfoot and Kim Foxx take additional action to keep citizens safe.
‘The mayor and Kim Foxx have to take a firm stand. It is wrong for someone to break into a place – if they get caught, they get let out!’ he argued. ‘If they get arrested, they get let go. So, how do you intend to ever solve that problem?’
He added: ‘If they don’t do anything about this, they’re going to lose a lot of businesses. They lost Macy’s. They’re losing Neiman Marcus. They may lose this store.’
The owners have increased security at the store and plan to keep the doors locked, even during business hours. Perillo also said service will be by appointment only from now on.
The robbery comes as the Windy City sees a surge in crime, prompting stronger response from police.
‘If you come downtown or anywhere else to engage in disorderly conduct or other crimes, you will be arrested,’ Chicago Police Department Supt. David Brown told ABC 7 on Friday.