A brazen shoplifter wearing an ankle monitor casually helped himself to an entire bag of liquor and other items at a Target store in Chicago while staff stood by and did nothing.
Video footage shows the unidentified man walking down the wine and beer aisle, loading up a bag with bottles of wine and then slinging it over his shoulder as he sauntered around the store, the sound of glass clinking together.
A security guard is seen on the video following closely behind him, but does nothing.
The man was recorded stealing the wine and other items at the Target store in Wicker Park last week – the latest incident in the brazen shoplifting trend that has been reported across the country.
The video was posted to Twitter by @ChicagoCritter, but it is not known if the incident was reported to police or if the man got away with the goods.
Video footage shows the unidentified man walking down the wine and beer aisle, loading up a bag with bottles of wine and then slinging it over his shoulder
A store security guard at the Target store in Wicker Park, Chicago stands behind the thief as he loads up a bag of wine bottles and continues to walk through the aisles grabbing more items
Chicago has become the latest city to be hit by rampant shoplifting, and even its Magnificent Mile, the once highly-populated retail destination, is now dotted with empty storefronts as businesses are being driven away by the brazen thieves.
Observers have pinned some of the blame on Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who backed calls to defund the police in the wake of BLM protests in 2020 before u-turning after a Chicago policewoman was shot dead.
Others have pinned blame on District Attorney Kim Foxx, who was widely accused of meddling in the Jussie Smollett case, after she stopped pursuing shoplifters who stole less than $1,000.
Shoplifting cases grew more common following a December 2016 motion from Foxx that mandated Chicago prosecutors only issue felony charges for the theft of property over $1,000.
A series of violent crimes have rocked the city in recent months, including a series of repeated burglary attempts on the Bottega Veneta store on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, which was robbed twice in two weeks.
One robber was seen letting his pal into the Italian designer store, scaring a terrified shop assistant in the process, before they began clearing its shelves of luxury leather goods, which retail for up to $6,200.
The thieves had left the scene with luxury merchandise that cost tens of thousands of dollars, exactly 21 days after a prior robbery saw 35 bags lifted on September 20.
Crime is up 35 percent in Chicago compared to the same time last year
Last month, Aldi closed a store after 13 years and blamed ‘repeated burglaries’.
The supermarket chain closed the store in South Side neighborhood Auburn Gresham on June 12, leaving only a sign that said the shop is ‘permanently closed’ and that the nearest store is three miles away.
Aldi said the store had closed for a number of reasons including ‘repeated burglaries’ and ‘declining sales’ but declined to say why residents were not notified of the decision.
It is not the first time Aldi has abruptly shuttered a store in the city after closing an outlet in Chicago’s West Garfield Park last year.
Crime in the city has soared 35 percent this year. Theft, burglary, and robbery are all up significantly at 66, 33, and 20 percent, respectively.
Thefts are up 66 per cent compared to 10,050 reported compared to last year with only 6,051. Burglaries are also up by 33 per cent with 4,078 compared to 3,063 last year.
A series of repeated burglary attempts were caught on camera at the Bottega Veneta store on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, which was robbed twice in two weeks
Motor vehicle thefts are also up 47 per cent compared to the same time last year, with 7,615 reported in 2022 and 5,171 reported in the same period in 2021.
Shooting incidents, meanwhile, are down eight per cent from last year – but there have already been a string of deadly shootings, with seven people at an intersection on the city’s South Side in March and three minors killed in January.
There have been 366 murders in the Windy City so far this year, down by 15 per cent compared to last year when there were 433 murders in the same time period.
Sexual assaults are also down by just one per cent from last year, as 1,142 incidents have been reported this year compared to 1,154 last year.
Despite skyrocketing crime, the Chicago Police Department announced in June that it will no longer chase fleeing suspects in certain cases.
Superintendent David Brown emphasized that the new policy made it ‘safer’ for his cops and ‘enhances law enforcement to do their job.’
The superintendent stated that 25 officers have already been shot or shot at this year, and the new foot pursuit policy would help eliminate potentially dangerous physical interactions with law enforcement and suspects, especially armed assailants.
Superintendent David Brown (pictured) announced last month that the Chicago Police Department will be updating its foot pursuit policy shortly to enhance officer safety
Officers are allowed to pursue a suspect on foot if they are or about to commit a felony or Class A misdemeanor, like assault, battery, and residential criminal trespassing, the policy read
The new policy outlines the limited times when a foot pursuit is permissible as long as it outweighs the potential harm to an officer or risks public safety.
One of the instances includes when a suspect is ‘committing a felony, Class A misdemeanor, [or a] traffic offense that endangers the physical risks of others’ or if criminals have or are about to commit an ‘arrest-able offense.’
Officers will be permitted to pursue suspects who are engaging in or about to engage in: battery, assault, unlawful use of weapons, and criminal residence trespassing, among others.
However, police must refrain from foot pursuits in case of: public drinking, land trespassing, and simple assault, the policy reads.
Law enforcement will have to have reasonable suspicion is committing a crime that endangers the public before pursuing the suspect on foot.
Brown said the new policy, as radical as it may seem, is actually not new to law enforcement, just new to Chicago.
He still said ‘officers’ would make the final call when and when not to pursue suspects, but the documentation provided after the pursuit will allow Chicago to learn and teach its officers how to remain safer, Brown said.
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