Community helps out after thieves steal from popular restaurant

CHICAGO -- A popular South Side restaurant was hit by vandals who did some serious damage, but residents and businesses came to the rescue.

Surveillance video showed a man walking to the back of Captain's Hard Time Josephine's Cooking, at 436 East 79th Street, carrying a ladder and bolt cutters Tuesday night. He is seen climbing up a roof and cutting the electrical wiring.

Josephine Wade, well known as Mother Wade, said three men may have been involved in the robbery. The men were looking to strip out the copper to sell. She said the damage was about $10,000 to $15,000.

She said she's losing money every day the restaurant has no power and can't open. She said has insurance, but it doesn't cover this.

Captain's Hard Time has been on 79th Street more than 40 years, and in all that time, she said she's never been robbed.

The community came together on Thursday to help out Mother Wade.

Electricians from Electrical Union 134's Powering Chicago, the Electrical Contractors Association and the company, MZI Group Inc. joined forces to get the place back up and running.

Mother Wade's son, Victor, said they were incredibly helpful and kind.

"[They said], 'Don't worry about anything financially, we are taking care of this. All that you and your mom have done for this community we're coming through for u guys,'" he said.

One of the electricians said the restaurant is an important jewel within the community.

Mother Wade was feeling down on Thursday, so she stayed home to rest. But she got a phone call she did not expect.

"You've done enough for a lot of good people. And that's what the city does, we help each other out."