Chicago and Minneapolis become the latest victims in a series of smash-and-grab robberies at retailers across the US after a spree of Black Friday thefts

Robbers in a Louis Vuitton store in Chicago.
Video footage of robbers at a Louis Vuitton store in Chicago earlier this month.Chicago Police Department
  • Three stores in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood were robbed within one hour on Black Friday, according to local reports.

  • Best Buy locations in Minneapolis-St.Paul were also targeted, local media said.

  • The robberies follow a spree of smash-and-grab robberies at luxury retailers in California in the past two weeks.

Chicago and Minneapolis-St. Paul were hit with a slew of burglaries on Black Friday, the latest in a series of smash-and-grab robberies plaguing retailers across the US.

The robberies in Chicago took place at three stores on the city's northwest side in the early morning on Friday, according to local reports. The targets — including North Face, Footlocker, and Boost Mobile — were looted during the course of approximately one hour in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood.

Less than 24 hours before, police also responded to an incident at a Canada Goose store off Chicago's Magnificent Mile, where robbers shattered a window using a rock and stole several coats, NBC5 Chicago reported.

The string of incidents come after robbers stole $120,000 worth of merchandise from a Louis Vuitton store at Chicago's Oak Brook Mall on November 19. They also follow a spree of smash-and-grab robberies in California in the past two weeks, primarily at luxury retailers including Nordstrom, Burberry, Yves Saint Laurent, and Bloomingdale's in the Bay Area.

Meanwhile Friday, a group of up to 30 people entered a Best Buy south of downtown Minneapolis and stole electronics, CBS Minnesota reported. Another Best Buy location near downtown Saint Paul was also hit by robbers on Black Friday, the outlet reported.

While it remains unclear if the looting is connected, Scott Decker — a professor at Arizona State University and an expert on robberies and gangs — told Insider earlier this week that media coverage of the incidents may be prompting copycat events.

"It may be that someone who is an offender who...sees it on TV and says, 'Hey, the cops in my city aren't that sophisticated,' or 'We could get away with one if we just go in real quickly and get out quickly,'" he said.

The first of the Black Friday incidents in Chicago was reported at the House of Hoops by Foot Locker location on North Milwaukee Avenue at 1:40 a.m., where officers responded to an alarm and found broken windows and missing products, Chicago police told ABC7 Chicago.

The next took place 20 minutes later at a nearby North Face store where police reported that the door had been pried open and "numerous coats were taken," according to ABC7 Chicago. At 2:40 a.m., police then responded to another alarm at Boost Mobile, where they found various electronic devices had been stolen.

According to ABC7 Chicago, police would not share if the incidents are related and no one is currently in custody.

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