Rifle-wielding robbers targeting West Side businesses, street vendors sought by police


CHICAGO — Business was back to normal at Angel’s Tire Shop in Pilsen on Monday but the day prior, owner Miguel Salgado and another employee were fixing a customer’s tire when Salgado says at least three men with handguns and a rifle approached them.

The terrifying ordeal was caught on surveillance video.

“Another car pulled up behind him and it was a baby blue Senda Electra, one of those two and they came out with guns and told us not to move,” Salgado said.

Cameras show Salgado and the employee holding their hands up as the suspects, covered in black masks, took their belongings. 

“They went through our pockets, took $800, an iPhone, and they took the key from my client and took the car also,” Salgado said.

Salgado told WGN News his sense of peace and hard-earned dollars were also taken at that moment. 

“It’s not good. People work hard for their money, especially now. You want to save as much money as you can, not for someone just to take it,” Salgado said.  

According to Chicago police, a group of men robbed some street vendors near 21st Street and Damen Avenue a few minutes later.

RELATED: Calls to action for better safety measures to protect Chicago street vendors

Police say two men took cash, phones and other items and drove off. 

“The tamale lady also came by and talked to me after the incident. She told me she got robbed and there’s another tamale lady by her that has been robbed three times already,” Salgado said.

Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th Ward) said street vendors in neighborhoods like Little Village, Pilsen and Brighton Park have been targeted. 

“It’s a huge issue and it’s not getting better,” Sigcho-Lopez said. “We see it with the street vendors and with great concern. We see the incident get more frequent and more violent.” 

Community members and organizations such as Brown Berets and Black Panthers have provided protection. But some feel the response from the police hasn’t been adequate. 

“The city announced there are an extra thousand officers since December, but we haven’t seen any changes,” Sigcho-Lopez said.

After Salgado’s frightening experience, he told WGN News that he has already made security improvements at his shop but would still like more police presence.  

In the meantime, however, he’s also warning others to be alert and changing his routine.

“Not carrying cash and being more vigilant and watching out,” Salgado said.

Police say no one was physically harmed in any of the incidents that occurred on Sunday. No one is in custody.

Anyone with information may leave an anonymous tip at

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