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Fast food restaurants being targeted by armed robbers

Chicago police released this surveilance photo of Subway Restaurant robbery suspect Credits:   Chicago Police Department
Chicago police released this surveilance photo of Subway Restaurant robbery suspect
Credits: Chicago Police Department

If you were looking for a reason to stop eating fast food then yesterday’s report by ABC News Chicago of an armed robbery at a Subway restaurant on the corner of Washington and Garland, maybe just what the doctor ordered.

It was the latest in a rash of at least 12 robberies of fast food restaurants that have taken place in the last few weeks on Chicago’s North Side. Police say they think the suspect used a handgun to steal $400 from the restaurant’s cash register and fled the scene before police arrived. No one was injured in the robbery.

A police press release said that the holdups took place between Jan. 18th and Feb. 10th. The robberies happened at restaurants, convenience stores and drug stores spanning a large section of city, from the 1300 block of South Halsted Street to the 3600 block of North Western Avenue.

Small businesses have been the prime target of armed robbers recently.

The previous rash of small business robberies took place at hair salons.  The robber would enter the salons shortly after they opened, showed what looked like a firearm and demanded cash.

An alert witness and some great police work lead to the arrest of Jason Logsdon, 41, of Evanston.  He is accused of hitting salons in Chicago, Skokie, Morton Grove, Broadview and Niles.

13 armed robberies have taken place in fast food restaurants on the South Chicago, Calumet, Gresham and Morgan Park police districts from Sept. 19 through Nov. 9, according to an alert from Area South detectives.  Two men were involved in those robberies.  

Both robbers are described as black men between the ages of 20 and 30 years old. One is 5-foot-3 to 5-foot-10 and weighing between 140 and 170 pounds, and the second is between 6-foot-1 and 6-foot-4 and weighs between 200 and 275 pounds, police said.

The robberies in South Chicago sound very similar to a string of armed robberies that took place on the North Side between late August and late September.  Two to five robbers were reported going into convenience stores and fast-food restaurants in the evening and taking them over at gunpoint, according to police. 

What can you do to avoid becoming a victim in a fast food robbery?

1. Patrons of fast food restaurants need to maintain awareness while approaching and entering their favorite fast food establishment.  This is especially true if you are entering shortly after the store opens or just prior to closing.

2. If you see two or more people entering a store ahead of you, at a time of day when few people are around, slow down and watch them through the window for a moment.  You should definitely have your guard up if they are wearing ski masks or hats pulled down low and fail to raise them after entering the store.

3. Look through the window before entering the restaurant.  If you see something suspicious such as hats pulled low or nervous or frightened look on an employees face back away to a safe place to observe and be prepared to call 911 if necessary.

You might just skip eating at fast food restaurants all together and possibly lose a few pounds.

If you are interested in taking a Personal Safety/Self-Defense class you can sign up for Act in Self Defense classes at:

If you would like more information on scheduling a Personal Safety/Self-Defense Class for you, your high school, college, business, or civic organization please contact me at

Ed Kress
For over 40 years Ed Kress has been an instructor and student at the Degerberg Academy of Martial Arts, named "Best Overall Martial Arts School” worldwide by Black Belt Magazine. Master Fred Degerberg awarded Ed his 7th degree Black Belt in 2015. Growing up on Chicago’s Southside, Ed learned early in life to pay attention to his surroundings in order to avoid potentially dangerous people and situations. With the help of local law enforcement officers and directors of campus security, Ed developed a program focused on personal safety on the streets, and as it relates to the high school and college experience. Ed has trained thousands of adult men and women as well as high school and college students to improve their personal and situational awareness and, when necessary, how to physically defend themselves using their brains and a wide variety of martial arts techniques.

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