Chicago crime: Pilsen businesses, street vendors targeted by armed robbers Sunday morning

Chicago (WLS) — A Pilsen business and a tamale street vendor were attacked by armed robbers on Sunday morning

Miguel Salgado, owner of Angel’s Tire Shop on 18th Street, said a customer had just stopped for a quick tire repair when the accident happened Sunday morning.

RELATED: Small village street vendors again targeted by armed robbers, call for more police patrols

Seconds after the driver got out to greet the employees, a blue sedan pulled up and disappeared from view of the surveillance cameras. Before you even see the guns, customers and employees have their hands in the air in an apparent immediate surrender.

“They got out of the car and told us not to move, put your hands up, where is the money,” Salgado said.

Two masked men with guns rummaged through the pockets of a customer and two tire store employees, one of whom was just out of camera frame.

“It’s not every day you wake up and see a gun pointed at you,” Salgado said.

One of the men kept brandishing a pistol, while the other held what appeared to be a long gun. They took hundreds of dollars in cash and the client’s keys before speeding away in a Jeep.

READ MORE: CPD agrees to increase patrols to help protect street vendors, say community leaders

Around the same time, Salgado said, at least two masked men stopped a tamale vendor a few blocks away near 21st Street and Damen.

Chicago police confirmed that several victims and street vendors were robbed.

“It’s really tragic. We’re talking about street vendors who work eight to 10 hours a day in the freezing cold for very little, and now they’re being robbed,” said Byron Cicho-Lopez, 25th District Councilman ( Byron Sigcho-Lopez said.

South West community leaders say hawkers who are struggling to scrape together a modest living with cash are being targeted and intimidated.

“The worst thing, and I’m going to be completely transparent, is that when street vendors complained to the city about public safety, instead of deploying more security, they deployed more inspectors. That was a tragedy,” Sigcho-Lopez Say.

Police said no one was detained in connection with the armed robberies.

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