ABC 7: Smash-and-grab burglars hit Chatham boutique days before grand opening
The dreams of two sisters have been shattered after a boutique they were planning to open in the city's Chatham neighborhood was burglarized, police said.As I like to emphasize Chatham is a predominantly Black middle class community that has been known for it's business activity. This story now makes an issue out of whether or not this community is suitable for starting a business.
The owners of Lure Chaussures say the smash-and-grab robbers targeted their boutique just two days before the store's grand opening.
"When I came in and looked around I was like oh, everything is gone," said Contessa Houston, Lure Chaussures co-owner.
According to police, the thieves broke into the business around 12:30 a.m. Thursday. It's around that time, Houston says, that she got a call from ADT alerting her there was a problem.
Born and raised in Chicago's Englewood and Roseland neighborhoods, the sisters say they are questioning the decision to put their store in the Chatham location on the South Side in an effort to give back to the community.Here's hoping these ladies are able to open their store. We also hope there will be a plan to at least allow 79th Street to become safe for businesses. I realize that there isn't much we can do about burglaries, but hopefully there's something that can be done where businesses and their assets can be protected from incidents such as these.
"If it was left up to me, I would pack all of this up, stay online, find something else. But I know what this means to her," Whitney said.
Now, all they can do is board up, clean up and hope for the best as they vow not to give up on their dream.
"I will not be defeated, I will not let it defeat me," Contessa said.
The owners say that because the store's insurance does not actually kick in until Saturday - the store's would-be grand opening - they will now have to absorb the thousands of dollars of lost merchandise and repairs. They have set up a GoFundMe.com page to help fundraise.