CHICAGO (CBS) — In two days, a West Suburban car dealership was hit two times by car thieves, who made off with almost $100,000 worth of vehicles.
The thieves first hit a CarMax located in Hillside last Thursday and Friday, stealing four vehicles.
Hillside police said thieves attempted to rob the dealership for a third time on Monday, but officers were watching and caught four suspects.
Targeted car dealerships is becoming a disturbing trend, the police said, adding that Chicago street gangs are behind the thefts.
“These guys are running out here, three and four cars deep, and finding the opportunities to steal cars,” Hillside Police Det. Sgt. Carlo Viscioni said.
Many of the cars are stolen in broad daylight as they’re being delivered.
And, according to Eddie Natour, who’s with CarMax, the thieves are taking whatever they can get their hands on.
“The first day they were able to get away with two Chevy Cruzes and a Chevy Equinox.”
On Friday, they took a BMW X5.
Viscioni said the cars are being utilized for additional crimes. In fact, one of the stolen CarMax vehicles was recovered in Chicago the following day.
“There were empty shell casings in the vehicle, so they’re looking at that vehicle being involved in potential shooting somewhere,” Viscioni added.
Due to the repeated offences, police were watching the dealership Monday afternoon when another group of potential thieves showed up.
“Several subjects started perusing the lot. They were noticed. They got into a stolen vehicle, attempted to flee,” said Viscioni.
After a crash and a foot case, police arrested three men and a 15-year-old.
In total, the men, ages 18, 19 and 20, have 62 prior arrests between them and are now facing misdemeanour charges.
Hillside police are working with other police departments to see if there’s a connection between similar crimes at other dealerships in the Chicago area.