I wrapped up my work responsibilities early in Chicago, but still had a late flight out. I emailed my friend Kent Gowran and asked him about some places worth checking out. He responded with a good breakfast restaurant to check out in the Wicker Park neighborhood of the city. Close by he named a couple bookstores and a record store I would probably dig as well. So I figured I’d give it a whirl.
Around 11:00 or so I heard a ton of police sirens going off, but didn’t think much of it. A few blocks down the street I encountered a couple cops in plainclothes standing out in front of a pawn shop, only they were sporting some artillery and had body armor on. I just shrugged, and kept walking. About this time I noticed a helicopter hovering overhead as well, just kind of swooping a narrow arc back and forth. A couple more blocks and I noticed about six or eight cop cars in front of this bank, with a bunch of cops milling about. The helicopter was directly overhead.
I walked around back, started walking up the alley where a few more cop cars were parked, and lo and behold laying right there was A BACKPACK FULL OF MONEY!
I was literally standing right behind that parked car. Then some cops came and chased me away. They were all pretty fat (no surprise there) and old so I figured I could outrun them . . . but the empty canine police unit told me there might have been a four-legged challenge in the vicinity, so I passed on my get-rich-quick scheme.
I went back out around front, and people on the street were speculating that either the pawn shop had been robbed and the dudes chased this way, or it was the bank that had been robbed, or both.
The news crew arrived. The camera man was setting up in front of the bank and I told him about the bag of money in the alley, and that that might make a good shot. He quickly bolted back there. The on-camera dude started to follow him, then asked me what I knew, and if I’d talk on camera. I said sure, and headed back there with them.
When the cops saw the news guys, they repositioned their vehicles so that the money bag couldn’t be seen. Assholes. The camera guy said they do shit like that all the time.
Then we went back around the back street and up the alley from the other side. This shot is coming down the alley from the other direction, which as we learned is where all the action really went down.
This girl lives in the neighborhood, and the news guy started asking her questions. She knew less than me, and didn’t even know about the money . . . but he chose to interview her instead. I think it’s because she’s from England and had a fancypants accent.
Then a guy watching all the goings-on went and got this girl, because she actually about got run over by the perps of the whole thing! She was walking her dog when the guys with the money (and a gun!) ran by her, then cops screeched into the alley at the opposite end. It’s funny, because she said that she thought for a second about sticking her leg out to trip them, but didn’t want them to get up and hurt her. She was pretty funny.
While the news team was interviewing these women, I filmed them filming the interviews, though my audio sucks. Here are screen grabs of my videos, though.
During the interview with the second girl, the camera man kept turning around and doing the thumbs-up and mouthing “awesome!” to me. It was pretty funny. It was also funny watching her fluffing her hair and pulling it back into a ponytail and stuff before she went on camera.
Anyway, here is all the info from the news outfit. I’m surprised they didn’t use more testimony from the second girl, because it was great. Regardless, pretty exciting stuff!
If only I’d know for sure where that dog was, I’m sure I could have disappeared with all that cash, helicopter or not. . . .