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Downtown Chicago businesses on edge after this morning's looting, vandalism. 'I feel like we are under attack.'

Lauren Zumbach, Ally Marotti, Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz and Ryan Ori, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Business News

CHICAGO -- Downtown business owners still struggling during the coronavirus pandemic were scrambling to board up broken windows and take stock of damage after a wave of vandalism and looting early Monday morning.

For some, it was the second time this summer, following an earlier wave of looting that took place during the unrest that followed George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police in May.

Jewelry and gift shop Crosell & Co. had reopened less than a week ago, then looters struck the store two blocks west of Michigan Avenue again Monday morning.

City officials "have to get ahold of the city again," said owner Dianne Crosell, standing in front of her shop's smashed double-paned glass door Monday morning. "I feel like we are under attack and under siege."

Shards of glass littered the sidewalk, and the sound of hammering as nearby businesses were boarded up echoed off the buildings. The damage wasn't as extensive as it was in late May, when looters broke in through a window and took most of her inventory.

Still, it's hard to rebuild again, Crosell said.

 

After the pandemic shutdown, her store was open for only about a week before the looting in May forced her to close again. Even if she was open, her customers, many of whom are tourists, aren't downtown shopping as much because of the pandemic, she said.

"If this keeps happening, why is anyone going to stay?" she said. "They're ruining the city of Chicago."

All down the Magnificent Mile, broken glass littered the sidewalk and people stopped to take pictures of the damage.

A crew of workers were cleaning up Water Tower Place just before 11 a.m. Macy's windows were smashed, and a MAC makeup counter had been pilfered. A broken bottle of foundation was smeared on the floor, and lip glosses and makeup brushes lay scattered.

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