Police believe same crew responsible for burglaries at Red Hot Ranch, Uptown smoke shop

Chicago News

CHICAGO — Police believe the same suspects are responsible for recent burglaries at a Red Hot Ranch in Lakeview and a smoke shop in Uptown.

Surveillance video from Uptown Smoke Zone, located in the 800 block of Irving Park Road, shows a man smash the front door window at around 3:10 a.m. Saturday.

Another man comes in and they try to pry the ATM out of the floor. Then, a suspect pulls the whole cash register off the shelf.

Owner Ayoob Shafi said a third man drove a light-colored, possibly gray, mini-van into an alley to load the stolen goods.

Shafi believes his business is being targeted with the second burglary in the last three weeks.

“It’s tough being a business owner in Chicago,” said Shafi. “Especially for the small businesses. How are we going to survive?”

Police believe the same suspects burglarized the Red Hot Ranch in Lakeview just before the Uptown Smoke Zone burglary. Police said their “MO” is the same. The suspects break in the glass and try to get the ATM and cash register.

“One of the offenders jumped over the counter,” said owner Jeff Greenfield said. “It all lasted about 45 seconds.”

Greenfield always leaves the cash register open to show there’s no money in it. Unlike the smoke shop, the ATM at Red Hot Ranch was not stolen.

Chicago police sad the same men my have broken into other businesses overnight as well.

If you have any information, you can leave an anonymous tip at cpdtip.com.

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