CHICAGO (TND) — Following a string of robberies in the Chicago neighborhoods of Wicker Park and Humboldt Park, police issued a community alert recommending area businesses outfit their buildings with special riot glass that can withstand burglars' attempts to break-in.
According to the alert, which was issued April 30, thieves have been frequently breaking front or side glass windows of businesses by using objects like rocks, bricks and crowbars, and this new glass shield, known as ArmorPlast, can be used to stop them.
ArmorPlast, which is specifically named in the Chicago Police Department's (CPD) community alert, is "an unbreakable shield that fits over existing glass." ArmorPlast's website calls their product "virtually unbreakable," claiming it "stop[s] crimes before they happen."
"We want to keep the bad guys outside the building - and that's what the product does," Brad Campbell, ArmorPlast's founder, told CBS News.
The CPD recommendation to use ArmorPlast came following a chain of burglaries that happened to businesses in the Wicker and Humboldt Park neighborhoods. One business, Mott Street Restaurant, located on N. Ashland Avenue, was broken into four times in less than a month between March 17 and April 15.
Police said the thieves involved in these burglaries did not work alone, with suspects being dropped off by accomplices to commit the smash-and-grabs. Police noted the thieves would then steal items of value within the stores, like cash registers, safes and liquor, before making a getaway.
In addition to adding the glass shield to their store infrastructure, CPD also recommended in its April 30 community alert that business owners ensure their surveillance cameras are fully functional.
"Our community members, outreach workers and faith communities continue stepping up to show that by working together, we can make Chicago safer for everyone," Interim Superintendent Eric Carter said following the release of an April report indicating homicides dropped last month compared to April 2022. "We will continue collaborating and engaging with youth and families to ensure residents and visitors feel safe in every part of the city."