CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago police say thieves are cutting the power to businesses before breaking in. It has happened four times in Austin over the past month.
Business managers say the thieves are breaking open power meters behind businesses, disabling security systems. The risk of electrocution isn’t stopping them.
At least one manager, Hong Nguyen of L.A. Nails on North Avenue, said she had to close down for a day while ComEd completed repairs.
Her staff found a broken glass door and a cracked ATM inside the store the morning of April 11.
“He (the thief) broke the ATM and got the money,” Nguyen said.
Nguyen said the thief or thieves also stole her iPad.
“Please, I hope the police can do something to catch the guy,” she said.
Her alarm sounded but, without power, the security alert system didn’t work and neither did the camera.
CPD said thieves cut another business’ power that same morning on the same block.
A few days later, it happened again in Austin at a business on Laramie.
“I hope the police can do something to bring the safety to this area,” Nguyen said.
Thieves cut the power again April 29 at Fulton and Cicero, but a couple security cameras stayed on.
Video shows someone walking around the parking lot and then behind the businesses around 2:30 a.m.
He returned, picked something up off the ground, tossed it at a window, and then walked back to a minivan parked nearby.
The van stayed put and, more than 90 minutes later, at 4:06 a.m., two people walked through the lot–one of them carrying some kind of stick or pole.
The camera just barely captured them climbing through the window which was hit by the object earlier.
The thieves returned to the van and drove off around 4:30 a.m.
Police confirm they are looking for three men and a minivan in connection to at least one of the break-ins.
They have not said whether the same suspects committed all four crimes. The power was cut in each case, police said.