Jewelry Store Owner Loses Everything After Overnight Looting

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A downtown jewelry store owner said he lost his entire life savings with Sunday night’s looting of his store along Wabash Avenue.

"Forty-two years, I’m in the United States, honest to God. I’m crying inside, you know," said Mohammad Ashiq, a Pakistani immigrant who said he’s owned The Watch Clinic on Wabash Avenue north of Madison Street for four decades.

Ashiq said he had 2,000 watch and jewelry repairs waiting to be picked up and more than 1,000 items in the store on layaway, waiting for people to finish paying on them. He said it was all worth more than a million dollars and that it was not insured.  He said insurance would have been "too expensive."

"My life, my family’s life. Everybody come work for me. Right now, I not have nothing. This has to be cleaned up to again survive myself, you know?"

Mohammd Ashiq said he, his wife, and four children had The Watch Clinic and nothing else. He said he has to establish himself again in what he calls "this beautiful United States."

Ashiq's shop is in the Shops of Wabash Building, whose owner named Tom said he pleaded with looters not to go into the store early Monday morning. Tom said he asked the looters politely not to go into the store and that they politely told him they were going in and that he should step aside, which he did.