Stupid Things People Do For Sneakers: Robberies have sneaker store owners considering relocation

Friends Darris ”Gem Shoe” Kelly and Sabrian ”Boo” Sledge actualized their dream when they opened Flee Club in Chicago two years ago. However, multiple burglaries have the duo considering moving their business out of the Windy City.

In a two-week stretch from mid-march to the beginning of April the store, located at 2221 W. Taylor St, has been robbed twice, with the most recent occurring April 1. According to police and the owners, at 6 am on April 1, five people broke a window to gain access to the store and took off with designer jeans and the rare New Beginnings pack, a sneaker duo that consists of the Air Jordan 1 and the Air Ship. Kelly indicated the stolen items were valued at $70,000.

A previous break-in on March 18 cost the business $40,000 worth of shoes and clothing.

Unfortunately the business had to absorb the losses from the March break-in as it has now become challenging to obtain insurance due to the multiple burglaries. Kelly said the recent burglaries are a ”real kick in the head” for the Flee Club Team.

We want to probably get out this spot, man. They took everything we got to give,” said co-owner. “Unless you want to spend all your money on security, overnight security, it’s not really worth it in Chicago.

Darris “Gem Shoe” Kelly, co-owner, Flee Club

Credit: Provided and Mack Liederman/Block Club Chicago. Left: Burglars busted open a window to get into Flee Club on Friday morning. Right: Owners Darris “Gem Shoe” Kelly and Sabrian “Boo” Sledge said they’re worried they might have to move out of Chicago.

Despite their work in the community, which has included bookbag giveaways, Christmas donations and sponsoring, it has not spared them from being a target of the repeated robberies.

The duo said they have spent “somewhere in the six figures” on security, employing armed guards, burglar bars, locks and sirens but to avail. After last month’s robbery, Sledge said” This could be Fort Knox and they will just run a car in.”

The business, which started out of a Maywood is known for serving celebrities, has hosted LaVar Ball’s BIg Baller Brand pop-up shop in November, may have to move, or worse.

Kelly is optimistic that his new insurance will help with some of the losses from the latest break-in. he said he would be disappointed that he may have to move on from what they have worked so hard to build.

You see all that you put into it, everything that you had.”

Unfortunately , as of the writing of this article, no arrests have been made in the robberies.

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