Store knifepoint robberies reported in Edgebrook, suburbs
by BRIAN NADIG
Detectives are investigating four commercial robberies in Edgebrook and the nearby Village Crossing shopping center in the suburbs in which an assailant often pointed a knife and fled on a bicycle.
The two most recent incidents were reported Sunday morning, May 14, at Happy Foods, 6415 N. Central Ave., and at the Jewel-Osco store, 5667 W. Touhy Ave.
At Happy Foods, a man displayed a knife at about 8:15 a.m. and stole $71 in cash from a cashier before fleeing the area on foot, according to 16th (Jefferson Park) District police. No injuries were reported.
“We just can’t get complacent. We haven’t had anything like this in ages,” Happy Foods owner Barbara Eastman said. She added that she has warned nearby businesses of the robbery, especially given that there have been other similar incidents in the area.
Eastman said that nowadays many businesses, including hers, keep little cash on hand because the vast majority of customers pay with credit cards.
She said that credit use increased during the pandemic because people wanted “contactless” payment to avoid exchanging cash with an employee.
At the Jewel-Osco, a man displayed a knife at about 7 a.m. and demanded money from a cashier, but the cashier did not give him money, and he left the store, according to Niles police.
The man reportedly fled the area riding a cruiser-type bicycle.
Another robbery was reported at about 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 26, at Domino’s Pizza, 5410 W. Devon Ave. The man reportedly pointed a knife, took about $100 in cash and fled on a bicycle, police said.
In addition, $133 was reported stolen at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 15, at the Michael’s Craft Store, 7055 Central Ave., Skokie. The offender reportedly was seen leaving the area on a bicycle.
The suspect has been described as an older male, either White or White/Hispanic, age 40 to 60, and wearing a mask, a dark jacket, sometimes with a hood, or a blue baseball cap.
A spokesperson for the Niles police said that detectives will be cooperating with other jurisdictions to determine if the incidents are related.
A Chicago police spokesperson said that there are indications of a robbery pattern due to similarities in the incidents but that it has not been determined if some or all have been committed by the same person.