UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — The owner of a local art gallery is warning her neighbors and the community about a man who robbed her at gunpoint Wednesday and prompted the installation of a camera and alarm system the following day.
Around 7 p.m. Wednesday, a man with a black knit scarf covering his face walked into Paperish Mess, an art gallery that specializes in local art and handmade wares at 1955 W. Chicago Ave. in Ukrainian Village, just east of Damen Avenue.
Paperish Mess co-owner Lisa Muscato described the alleged robber as "a shorter, stout, white mid-30-year-old guy with a black knit scarf covering his whole face and a dark gray/black pea coat on."
"He had a dark chrome revolver with a wooden handle. He took cash and my phone and went off," Muscato said.
After leaving the shop with $500 cash and Muscato's iPhone, the robber headed west down Chicago toward Damen.
Muscato said she and her husband installed an alarm system and cameras after the robbery and are trying to spread the word, in light of recent break-ins to coffee shops as well as a similar hold-up by an armed robber at a nail salon about one half block west of their shop that also occurred Wednesday evening.
Muscato said she heard about the nail salon robbery from a customer but has not been able to talk with the owners of the salon yet.
Officer Jose Estrada, a police spokesman, confirmed the armed robbery at Paperish Mess and described the offender as male, "white or possibly Hispanic," standing between 5'6 or 5'8 and weighing between 160 and 180 pounds.
On their Facebook page Thursday, Murty wrote, "You may have heard, but last night a man in a grey pea coat walked into our shop with a gun, his face covered completely with a black knit scarf.
"He told Lisa to give him all of the money in the register, her cell phone, and he told her to unplug the phone before he left. Phone is back on, doors are opened and it's a new day."
Murty thanked the shop's "neighbors, amazing customers, and local community members" for the experience "easier to get through and for us to move forward.