Asian Chicago shop owner fed up with 'harassment' and theft will close permanently

'I've gotten a lot of harassment,' store owner says

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A small business owner in Chicago says she is closing up shop after a recent burglary resulted in more than $30,000 in losses. 

Jessica Nguyen owns Jessica's Boutique in the city's West Beverly neighborhood. Police say an unknown offender broke the glass door to the business around 3:15 a.m. March 19, gained entry and took merchandise before getting into a vehicle and taking off. 

Chicago, Illinois (iStock)

Chicago, Illinois (iStock)


Surveillance video obtained by the TV station shows the perpetrator taking the tens of thousands of dollars worth of clothing and purses from the store. 

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The robber calmly surveys the store with a flashlight then takes designer sunglasses and begins moving furniture around. He then packs clothes into boxes and looks right into the camera. The thief was not wearing a mask or gloves. 

"I've gotten a lot of harassment," Nguyen told CBS 2, for being Asian since the COVID-19 pandemic started. "I felt very sad because this area is a very good area." 

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Loren Watkins, Nguyen's husband, said the store alarm system wasn't working, so the thief was in the store for about 15 minutes.

"Just acting like he's on a walk in the park or something," Watkins said. "He just didn't care about anything and didn't think about other people."

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Nguyen says people store from the store as she was inside last summer. She hopes to sell off all the clothes by the end of the year, and transition the space to something else.

Police say no one is in custody for the burglary. If detectives have any images to release, they will do so in the form of a community alert.