River Forest Whole Foods robbed

Man pistol-whipped store manager, fled with nearly $8,000


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By Ben Meyerson

Chicago Journal Editor

A man stole several thousand dollars from Whole Foods in River Forest on Thursday night, pistol-whipping the store's manager, who was transferring money from cash registers to the safe.

The robber made off with about $7,800 in a cash deposit bag, according to River Forest Police Lt. Craig Rutz.

The robbery, which happened just before 9 p.m. on Thursday night at the 7245 Lake grocery store, took several minutes before the police were alerted, but prompted an immediate response from Oak Park and Forest Park police and a regional hunt for the perpetrator, Rutz said.

Rutz said the suspect was walking around the back of the store carrying a grocery basket with food in it, when he intercepted the store's manager on his way to secure the cash.

The offender then pulled out a handgun and threatened the manager, hit him with the gun, grabbed the cash, and fled, according to Rutz.

Police responded to the scene about 6 minutes after the incident and issued an alert describing the victim as a 30- to 40-year-old black man with a thin build, a light complexion, a thin beard and moustache. The man was wearing a black jacket, dark jeans, black leather gloves, and a black fisherman's-style floppy hat.

River Forest police said Friday afternoon they were investigating several leads.

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Reader Comments

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John Barker from Oak park   

Posted: November 17th, 2011 6:56 PM

Oak Park got what they wanted a big black population of white hating racists and loony tune liberals who love em.

Rob Mack from Oak Park  

Posted: November 27th, 2010 12:01 PM

These things are so often connected to an employee who has seen how and when money is transferred. Weren't the famous murders at Brown's Chicken that way? The book Fast Food Nation talks about how commonly employees and their friends engage in violent robberies at those establishments, and I doubt this is much different. I'm glad there wasn't more bloodshed. There has to be a safer way to handle cash.

Violet Aura  

Posted: November 4th, 2010 6:25 PM

Why is the word "ghetto" misused in this context? Granted, it has morphed into an adjective, but my impression of its current usage is that it is meant to convey a low-class atmosphere. I don't like when people use the word to denote a particular racial component, but even in that context it is still predominantly socio-economic.

Misuse of words is annoying  

Posted: October 31st, 2010 10:16 PM

ghet%u2022to (g%u0115t%u2032%u014D)n. pl.  ghet%u2022tos or  ghet%u2022toes1. A usually poor section of a city inhabited primarily by people of the same race, religion, or social background, often because of discrimination.2. An often walled quarter in a European city to which Jews were restricted beginning in the Middle Ages.3. Something that resembles the restriction or isolation of a city ghetto: "trapped in ethnic or pink-collar managerial job ghettoes" (Diane Weathers).Italian, after Ghetto, island near Venice where Jews were made to live in the 16th century.

L Mercer  

Posted: October 30th, 2010 5:37 PM

Why do you all assume it took the police 6 minutes to get there. The article clearly states; "took several minutes before the police were alerted". Thus we do not know how long it took the police to respond. Why did it take so long to notify the police? Everyone carries a cell phone- even the victim. There could be many reasons (collusion, shock, distraction) but I'm not jumping to any conclusions without further information.

Nick C from Oak Park  

Posted: October 27th, 2010 11:34 AM

Nice. This will be the only WholeFoods to actually have and need a security guard. How ghetto is that??

Violet Aura  

Posted: October 26th, 2010 2:05 PM

Even if it was within six minutes, the perp could have easily eluded them and jumped on the El or run down an alley.


Posted: October 26th, 2010 12:13 PM

My guess is the crime wasn't immediately discovered. But I've learned not to believe everything I read anyway.

Bruce from Oak park  

Posted: October 26th, 2010 9:43 AM

The article states that "Police responded to the scene about 6 minutes after the incident". It is not clearly stated that they responded 6 minutes after being contacted. It could have taken only 1-2 minutes to get to the scene after being alerted. How much time transpired between the start of the crime and the time when PD was contacted makes up the difference.I'm also not sure how relevant the distance between a crime scene and the PD HQ is. PD cars are patrolling the village.

Violet Aura  

Posted: October 24th, 2010 5:25 PM

I was at WF's this morning and there was a security guard standing there. I don't know if they are even packing but I really would prefer not to have one. It creates an unpleasant shopping experience and I am not really sure they can do much of anything, much like the bank guards who are not moonlighting cops. It just seemed like it was done for show. I think the main thing is to change how money is transferred, especially late at night.

Dan from River Forest  

Posted: October 24th, 2010 2:00 PM

I would of loved to be at the brainstorming meeting when they decided to cut 25% of the police officers and the crossing guards. It's just another example of businesses and citizens being put at risk. I'm sure more corporations will want to move into the river forest town center now. Keep up the good work river forest village board.

Violet Aura  

Posted: October 23rd, 2010 7:43 PM

Why are you making light of this? A person with a gun pistol-whips an employee at a local store and you think it's joke material? Or do you support the thief's behavior? I think they should not have had this type of procedure, though. I used to work retail and we did everything with the money after we had closed down the store. It's too easy for people to see all that moola, as pointed out here. At least have two people at one time or something...

Pat Reith  

Posted: October 23rd, 2010 3:05 PM

The thief should have robbed Jewel - he could have gotten "2 for 1"

Love OP  

Posted: October 22nd, 2010 8:03 PM

The OPPD can't solve any murders. What makes you think either PD can solve this?

Mr. T  

Posted: October 22nd, 2010 6:37 PM

LIFE NEAR THE BIG CITYBy the time the RFPD figured out what and where Whole Foods is Mr 30- to 40-year-old black man with a thin build, a light complexion, a thin beard and moustache wearing a black jacket, dark jeans, black leather gloves, and a black fisherman's-style floppy hat was safely on the green line on his way home.

jean heyes from oak park  

Posted: October 22nd, 2010 5:55 PM

How can you blame the NRA? The robbers always have guns or other tools-of-the-trade. They do not stop to get a license on the way to doing a crime. Lake Street is a mess - as is Roosevelt Road. This slows everything down - even in daylight.


Posted: October 22nd, 2010 4:52 PM

Madge - waiting until the store closed to transfer money would mean leaving large amounts of cash in the register drawers. Same risk or even greater and is why all big box retail stores do register drops to the safe throughout the day. A guard is a good idea.

JK from River Forest  

Posted: October 22nd, 2010 2:49 PM

The RF police station is almost a full mile away per Mapquest, so six minutes down a Lake St. being resurfaced seems pretty respectable. Especially if this was a 911 handoff.


Posted: October 22nd, 2010 2:37 PM

Given how bad that area has gotten, Whole Foods needs to sharpen up. Suggest they consider:1) close the store before they transfer any money.2)have a security guard present when any money is transferred.The police are always in that area which is much needed. I have shopped at Whole Foods at night and have never felt safe. No tenant yet for the empty storefronts which adds to the dismal feel.

Agree with Matt  

Posted: October 22nd, 2010 1:35 PM

Isn't the River Forest Police Department 3 blocks away?


Posted: October 22nd, 2010 1:21 PM

Even with an Illinois Firearm Owners Identification Card it is illegal to carry a loaded gun in Illinois by anyone except for %u201CConservator of the peace%u201D (Police). I doubt that the person who robbed Whole Foods was concerned that he was breaking a firearm law. As for the 6 minute response time, I would first question the time our 911 center took to receive the call and then inform the RF police. Past history has shown that West Suburban Dispatch can be a bottle neck for quick respone time.


Posted: October 22nd, 2010 12:56 PM

The NRA has not made it possible for citizens to CARRY handguns. Crooks are crooks and will act on their own accord. Do not place the blame on an organization that supports a citizens right to bear arms, place the blame on the person holding the gun. It's horrible that this happened and I hope the cops find who did it.


Posted: October 22nd, 2010 12:47 PM

Disputo, you just don't get it! Another clueless liberal!


Posted: October 22nd, 2010 12:08 PM

Thank goodness that the NRA has made it possible for every crook to carry a handgun.

Matt Baron from Oak Park  

Posted: October 22nd, 2010 12:02 PM

Shocking, and hope that they nab this perpetrator. Almost as shocking is the six-minute response time....how can that be, that it takes so long to reach such a centrally located spot?

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