LAKEVIEW — A group of people grabbed bags full of merchandise from a Lakeview lingerie shop and several nearby stores Sunday night before running off and trying to get onto the "L" at Belmont, according to The Alley's owner, whose Taboo Tabou store was targeted.
Mark Thomas, who closed the famed Alley in January but still co-owns Taboo Tabou at 843 W. Belmont Ave., said he saw at three people getting arrested, two women and a man.
They first hit his adult toy and lingerie store — which opened last week at its new storefront — before moving on American Apparel, Egor's Dungeon and Starbucks, Thomas told DNAinfo Chicago.
"If we had foot officers on Belmont, this kind of thing would be much less likely to happen," Thomas said Sunday night.
Around 7:19 p.m., surveillance video footage showed four women and one man entered Taboo Tabou and began grabbing items, Thomas said.
One threatened a Taboo Tabou employee, who then let the thieves exit the store with bags of merchandise.
Thomas said more than $500 of in goods was taken from Taboo Tabou. At least one bag of items was later recovered.
Chicago police were not immediately able to confirm details of the incident late Sunday.
The five people who broke into Taboo Tabou were part of a larger group of about 10 to 12 who stole merchandise from other stores.
Thomas joined a Taboo Tabou employee at the Belmont "L" station, where the employee was able to identify one of the people she said stole from the store.
At that point, the train stopped and police were able to arrest three people, Thomas said.
"Yes, it has to do with a lack of manpower, but it also has to do with the fact that we're not recognizing that the single hottest spot [for crime] in Lakeview is on Belmont by the 'L' station," said Thomas, who ran for alderman of the 44th ward against Ald. Tom Tunney last year.
Late last year, Tunney said he and Ald. James Cappleman (46th) leveraged votes for a property-tax increase to secure a promise for a net gain of 43 more officers in the Town Hall District, which includes Lakeview and portions of Uptown, Lincoln Square, Lincoln Park and North Center.
By the end of March, 25 of those officers will be assigned to the district, Tunney pledged.
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