Armed jewelry store owner scares off would-be looters


CHICAGO —  For days, 69-year-old Juan Romero has been guarding his small jewelry shop on busy Lincoln Avenue in Lakeview.

Then on Sunday night, he said he was inside when the looting he’d watched on TV wound up at his front door. 

“They crashed the windows but they didn’t have a chance… Because I screamed real bad words,” Romero said.

Romero said he didn’t think twice before confronting three looters while holding on to his weapon. He said he’s been broken into at least five times since he first started Azteca Jewelry back in 1977. 

Luckily his actions worked, and all three would-be looters ran off.

Romero’s neighbors are still going through videos of break-ins captured over the last few days. In some of them, looters can be seen hitting not just one target, but a string of other places. 

It has everybody on the normally quiet strip on edge, but it’s brought them together. Neighbors were the ones who helped Romero clean up. 

“I didn’t realize he was in there… he was pretty calm for having gone through that experience,” said Luke Karl, Dinkel’s Bakery.

One of the neighboring businesses captured some pretty good shots which they’re turning over to Romero, and then to police. 

In the meantime, things have started to calm down on their strip of Lincoln and Addison. But just Wednesday morning, Uncle Dan’s in Roscoe Village was broken into.


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