CHICAGO (CBS) — This is not something you normally see on Chicago’s famous Magnificent Mile. Two cars parked on the sidewalk in front of a high-end store.
In what appears to be a crime prevention tactic, a picture shows two vehicles parked on Burberry’s Michigan Avenue sidewalk, blocking the entrance during off hours.
Burberry was targeted by burglars twice in two days to start the new year.
These incidents were among a rash of retail crime targeting high-end stores on the Mag Mile and in suburban malls.
Rob Karr is the president and CEO of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association. While he says he’s aware of the concerns Burberry has around crime, he hasn’t spoken to the store about specific tactics. But he says he’s not surprised.
“I think it does speak to the fact that they feel, right or wrong, they feel a bit on their own here and they need to take measures, any measures they can to protect themselves,” Rob Karr, President, and CEO of Illinois Retail Merchants Association.
CBS 2’s Jackie Kostek visited the Mag Mile where she spoke with employees across the Coach store who say they’ve seen the vehicles parked outside of Burberry’s entrance the past couple of nights.
While Burberry has not responded to requests for comment, the Chicago Department of Transportation, the agency responsible for managing city sidewalks, said Wednesday they were not aware of the vehicles parked outside Burberry after hours and would be sending an inspector.
A spokesperson said there is not a CDOT permit that would allow for parking on the sidewalk like that. Chicago police would not confirm or deny whether they were aware, only responding, “for safety reasons, we do not discuss patrol or deployment strategies.”
CBS 2 reached out to the mayor and alderman’s offices and did not hear back.
Karr of the retail merchant’s association says he will continue to have conversations with city leaders about how to better protect businesses. Because as he says, retail theft is devastating for everyone.
“Every time a piece of merchandise is stolen, there’s sales tax that is not collected on that merchandise. And retailers are the largest source of sales tax revenue for local governments and the second largest for the state. Those help fund the services that we all rely upon so we’re all victims,” Karr said.