WEST ROGERS PARK — Security camera footage in a well-lit alley captured a man on a modified bicycle taking about $600 worth of marinated Halal meat from a restaurant near Devon Avenue last month, police say.
Police warned business owners earlier in the week to keep an eye out for the man, who was suspected of stealing from at least two other nearby stores, including a cellphone shop.
A surveillance video obtained by DNAinfo Chicago captured the burglar's efforts to rip off JK Kabab House about 2 a.m. Sept. 16 in the 6400 block of North Rockwell Street.
Majid Mustafa, 31, who manages the restaurant for his uncle, said he buys about 400 pounds of meat a day, then marinates it overnight and serves it the following afternoon.
On Sept. 15, records show he had 384 pounds of meat marinating in a basement walk-in cooler, Mustafa said.
There was marinated chicken, beef and lamb, he said.
The next day, he received a call from his chef: The meat was gone.
"Meat thief," said Mustafa, shaking his head in acknowledgment of the absurdity of someone stealing so much raw meat. "We make a joke about it: Maybe he ate here before and wanted to stock up."
The video shows the suspect — dressed in a black jumpsuit and Nike gym shoes — drag a container, draped in a red decorative tapestry, into the alley. He then walks off camera into an adjacent alley to retrieve a bicycle outfitted with metal bars that form a platform on the front of the bike.
He then hoists the container onto the platform, but as he tries to ride away, the container tips over, spilling smaller containers of marinated meat onto the pavement.
The man then goes back into a gangway, where he's shown on another camera retrieving a shopping cart.
He then rides his bicycle out of frame and returns on foot seconds later.
The suspect transfers the goods from the container to the shopping cart and then pushes the cart down the adjacent alley and out of view.
"He spent a good hour within the property," Mustafa said. "So he was very comfortable."