TOWER LAKES, Ill. (CBS) — A woman in the northwest suburbs sent out a warning about a crew of car thieves Sunday.
It is possible the thieves are responsible for a rash of thefts in a handful of communities. As CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross reported Sunday night, one of the crimes was caught on video.
“Saw the fender in the yard,” said Jennifer Parker. “We know what happened. We don’t why or who.”
Most of Parker’s 2014 Chevrolet Camaro was gone.
“It was sentimental – it was my car. I loved it,” she said. “It was my baby.”
That baby’s bumper was busted. The garage was also gouged with damage left to the door, and another car was hit in the Tower Lakes driveway.
Video from inside earlier Saturday morning showed how one woman’s vehicle vanished. The thieves were far from smooth criminals.
“We have a car lift in the garage and they hit that first, trying to turn the car to get out of the garage,” Parker said. “Then they overcorrected and hit the wall of the garage, then they hit my vehicle outside the garage, and then apparently bottomed out in the yard, and when they tried to reverse, they left the fender in the yard.”
Parker and her husband were sleeping at the time.
“We didn’t hear anything, luckily,” she said. “It’s anger. It’s violation. It’s what-ifs – all the what-if’s keep playing out. What if they had come in the house? Would they have a weapon? Who knows.”
After reflecting on the crime, Parker realized the crooks also got away with her husband’s wallet, which was in one of the vehicles. There was no cash inside, but there were credit cards.
“We continually communicate with the Lake County Sheriff as we get notifications that they’re using the card or they’re trying to use the card,” Parker said.
Parker believes a crew of at least five people opened one of the unlocked cars outside, found a garage door opener, and found keys in the unlocked Camaro after getting into the garage.
She added that investigators suspect she is not the only victim.
“We’ve spoken to the Island Lake police and the Wauconda police. Wauconda police told me that two other vehicles were stolen Friday night from the Wauconda area,” Parker said, adding that police believe the same group was responsible for all the crimes.
Parker is now locking her car doors and arming her home alarm often. Parker and her husband’s car may be gone, but the impact from the crime remains.
“I’m living scared now and I wasn’t before,” she said. “I’m really glad it was just things and not any people hurt.”
We reached out to Island Lake and Wauconda police for comment on the possible rash of car thefts. So far, they have not gotten back to us.