NOBLE SQUARE — A man who pretended to buy a bag of chips from Crater Food & Liquor in Noble Square ran off with hundreds of dollars in cash after holding the owner up at gunpoint and telling him, "don't move" in an incident caught on video.
The armed robbery happened at 10:07 a.m. Tuesday at Crater Food & Liquor, 1144 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Crater Food & Liquor's owner Muthana Hussein said the man — who was wearing a distinctive baseball style hat with a bright gold emblem on the front of it — walked up to the register to buy a bag of chips and then, as the register opened, pulled out a gun, jumped over the register and told Hussein, "Don't move."
In a surveillance video, Hussein backs away as the man rummages through the cash register, taking about $400, Hussein said.
On his way out, the man asks Hussein for a pack of menthol cigarette, to which Hussein replies that the store does not sell those cigarettes. Then, the man bends to the floor to scoop up his hat which had dropped off his head.
Hussein has owned Crater Food & Liquors for 22 years and said that the robbery is the second that the store has experienced, and that the other incident was also this year, on Feb. 13.
"Two in six months, and I've never had a problem [before this]," Hussein said.
He stressed that everyone who shops at his store is "very nice," and he did not recognize the man who robbed the store.
Officer Laura Amezaga, a Chicago Police Department spokeswoman, confirmed that a police report had been filed by Hussein, and Area Central Detectives are investigating the robbery. No one is in custody.
Hussein, who was was not injured during the incident, said he hopes someone recognizes the man, who ran away northbound, toward Division Street and Milwaukee Avenue.
"There are a lot of problems everywhere, not only here," Hussein said.
Other security cameras in nearby buildings got better images of the man after he robbed Crater Foods & Liquor. In the below image from just outside the store, the man is seen with a bulging front pocket after robbing the business of its cash.
Image of the man after leaving Crater Food & Liquors. [Provided]