CHICAGO — A toddler's beloved Radio Flyer wagon was stolen from the front yard of West Loop home last week in a brazen theft caught on video.
The $185 red wagon was a favorite of Aleona Domin's young daughter.
While she said the family bought a new wagon this week, the fact that the theft happened in the middle of the day and the thief "felt very comfortable" with going through the family's front yard has made them question how safe their home is, Domin said.
"When somebody opens your gate and walks into your property it feels a little bit different. It's a different type of violation," Domin said. If a person "feels quite comfortable walking into my front yard, you better be sure that I'm at least gonna take some sort of measure to make sure that he doesn't walk into my front door with my kid inside."
A video from Aug. 2 shows a man walking up to the family's front gate and pushing it open, then using what appears to be a bag on rollers to keep the gate from closing behind him. He walks a few feet to the wagon, grabs the handle that was leaning up against the front of the house and pulls it away, closing the gate behind himself. He puts his bag inside the wagon — which has a canopy on top — and calmly walks away.
Cars can be seen driving by during the theft, although it's unclear if anyone realized what was happening.
In all, the theft took about 30 seconds.
"I'm reacting to the fact not that this guy took it ... but that he felt very comfortable walking into my property," Domin said.
A short time later the nanny who watches Domin's daughter texted Domin and asked if she'd taken the wagon, and Domin's video surveillance system sent her a notification that someone had been in the yard.
Domin called the non-emergency number for police and told them the man was walking the wagon north, but she has yet to hear back.
Thefts aren't unheard of in the area, Domin said, with packages stolen from neighbor's yards and a woman robbed of her cellphone a block away.
Concerned about the brazenness of the theft, the family — who moved from River North to this home just weeks before the incident — activated a security system and has been strict about locking their doors.
"I know in the city it's common stuff," Domin said. "It's just you move in and expect the best."
Watch the video of the theft: