Employee shot dead and seriously injured by thieves at Oak Lawn jewelry store

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OAK LAWN, Ill. (CBS) — An employee was shot twice in a jewelry store robbery in Oak Lawn on Friday afternoon.

Around 2 p.m., Oak Lawn police were called to the robbery at Reichman Jewelers at 4439 W. 95th St.

Police said three masked men entered the store and pulled out their guns. The criminals pushed through the gems and diamonds – forcing their way from the front to the back of the store. They left behind a trail of broken glass and blood.

A security guard stood out front – intended to deter crime, but not this time. The three offenders took him – armed with weapons – and disarmed him. Afterwards, the thieves began breaking glass display cases and stealing jewelry, police said.

A store employee emerged from the back of the store and confronted the robbers, who shot him twice, police said.

The thieves continued through the store – a family-owned jewelry business and 95th Street institution in Oak Lawn that has been in business since 1908.

Oak Lawn police did not provide any information about what was stolen. They also had no new details Friday night on the condition of the security guard or employee who was shot.

Some neighbors told CBS 2’s Sabrina Franza that the jewelry store had already been robbed — and that the security guard had been hired after previous robberies. Neighbors said none of the previous thefts were as serious as Friday’s.

One of the robbers was wearing a dark hoodie, another a white T-shirt, police said. The third thief’s clothing description was not available.

The thieves fled west down an alley in a silver sedan, of which police captured a surveillance image.

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We tried to get closer to the crime scene to search for a video ourselves, but the police near the scene pushed us away.

Later, we checked that all neighboring offices were closed. Reichman Jewelers itself was also closed – with a sign saying it would be closed ‘indefinitely, until further notice’.

The store worker was shot in the chest and wrist and was taken to an area hospital in critical but stable condition. Advocate Christ Medical Center is directly across from the jewelry store, but it is unclear if the employee was taken there.

Oak Lawn police are asking owners to check their CCTV systems for anything captured between 1 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. They are looking for information on the getaway car, believed to be a 2014-2017 silver Chrysler 200.

Anyone with information is asked to call Oak Lawn Police at (708) 907-4051, or text guidance at (708) 613-8477.

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