Workers at a Wicker Park 7-Eleven said they feel unsafe and abandoned by Chicago Police as a serial shoplifter continues a two-week spree of thieving.
Since October 9, a single man has ransacked the store’s wine section seven different times — each time laughing at workers and on two occasions threatening to kill the store’s owner, workers said.
Police arrested David Williams, 32, in two of the shoplifting incidents. He was released from custody via an I-bond, which does not require money, and is due in court November 2. Since the second arrest, however, workers said Williams has returned to the store five different times.
Most recently, he entered the store around 10:15 AM Tuesday, grabbed several wine bottles, told the franchise owner, “You bitch, I’m going to kill you,” then kicked in the cashier’s plexiglass barrier, the owner said. The store’s video footage shows Williams wearing a mask around his chin and walking within 6 feet of another customer.
Williams was issued an I-Bond at a police station, a state’s attorney’s spokesperson said. Police can issue an I-Bond or charge misdemeanor cases without the state’s attorney’s approval.
Shoplifting has always been an issue at the store, workers said. However, the serial and threatening nature of Williams’ thefts — coupled with the recent killing of Wicker Park Walgreens employee Olga Calderon — has left the store’s cashiers on edge.
Like Calderon, Janice Sanchez is the mother of two young children. She’s worked at the 7-Eleven for nearly two years and has never felt unsafe until now. “I’m so nervous,” Sanchez said. “You don’t know what anybody can be capable of. A lot of us have children at home. … We call the cops, and they don’t do anything.”
Harish Doshi, who owns the 7-Eleven franchise at 1508 N. Damen Ave., said shoplifting has increased significantly during the pandemic, and most acutely in the last week. Shoplifting happens everywhere,” he said. “But when it goes on a routine basis and no one is hearing you… They’re not doing any kind of due diligence. Nobody’s helping…” Block Club News