OAK FOREST, Ill. (CBS) — Could a white sport-utility vehicle be the link to a string of thefts and carjackings targeting gas station customers in the southwest suburbs?
The thieves are targeting drivers who leave their doors unlocked while filling up. CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported on the incidents earlier this week.
Yet another car has since been stolen while someone was pumping gas – bringing the total to five cars taken in less than two weeks.
In the most recent incident, an unsuspecting driver filling up at the BP station at 159th Street and Central Avenue in Oak Forest ended up filling out a police report instead.
Police in Oak Forest originally posted signs telling drivers to remove their keys and lock their doors at gas stations.
But now, they’re posting images of a duo spotted on camera parking next to someone getting gas.
Two men jumped out of a white SUV. Investigators told CBS 2 the men seen in the images pushed the drivers to the side and then forced their way into the running car – before speeding off.
The Oak Forest carjacking comes days after thieves also in a white SUV stopped next to a woman getting gas in Blue Island. Someone in the back seat sneaks out before sliding right into a woman’s car as she pumped gas at 127th Street and Vincennes Avenue.
Despite slamming the door, the woman did not realize the crooks stole from her until they were long gone.
As police in Oak Forest searched for the pair who stole the car, detectives in Tinley Park are trying to determine whether the same men in the white SUV are behind four other carjackings since New Year’s Eve.
Those earlier carjackings all happened at a Gas-N-Go near 194th Street and Harlem Avenue.
Police in the southwest suburbs are hoping to catch whoever is in the white SUV before they strike again.