Chef, tattoo artist team up to nab alleged burglar

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CHICAGO -- Don Penza is the executive chef at Kanela Breakfast Club. He keeps a close eye on the ingredients in the kitchen, and a watchful eye on the property outside the Wicker Park restaurant.

On Sunday afternoon, he saw a man casing the cars parked behind the restaurant.

“I know what was about to happen and had an idea of what he was doing,” Penza said. “So I just kept an eye on him, and he walked around and went onto one of the employees' cars and went through it."

Penza confronted the alleged burglar, who ran out of the alley, down Milwaukee Avenue through the heart of Wicker Park.

“I took off after him, I was able to catch him about a block and a half away, and got him to go to the ground with very little resistance,” Penza said.

As Penza pinned him on the sidewalk in front of Ragstock clothing, Brian Dickie, the manager at Metamorph Tattoo Studios across the street, saw what was going on and ran to help.

“The chef who caught up to him, he was a little out of breath and a little 'adrenalined out,' and a little fired up obviously; I just wanted to make sure the guy wouldn't get away,” said Dickie.

Dickie works as a bouncer and had a pair of handcuffs handy. "I'm licensed with the state to carry handcuffs, I had them in the shop; they were in my coat from the night before," Dickie said. "I saw what was going on across the street and decided to go back in and grab them."

Police arrived within five minutes and arrested 21-year-old Armad Jones, a man with a long rap sheet, including at least eight prior arrests for theft and trespassing.

Now he's off the street, thanks to two local business workers.

“Local businesses and we live in the area, and I work hard for everything I own,” Penza said. “My employees work hard for their stuff, to allow that to happen is just not right. So I stand up for the people I work for, I stand up for the people of Chicago.”

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.