CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Police detectives late Thursday were looking into whether a rash of burglaries in the South Loop and elsewhere a day earlier are connected to a series of ATM thefts, burglaries, or carjackings across the city over the last several weeks.
CBS 2’s Marissa Parra spent Thursday connecting the dots.READ MORE: New ILogin Verification System Is Locking Out Illinoisans Trying To File Unemployment Claims
Glass remained on the ground Thursday outside a bar in the Irving Park neighborhood from when thieves broke in through the window, jumped inside, and then dragged the ATM through the front door before making their getaway.
Sources tell us the cars they used to do it were stolen from O’Hare International Airport – and the crimes might not end there.
Over a full day later, businesses were still cleaning up the mess from Wednesday morning, when more than half a dozen of them were struck by thieves – seemingly on the hunt for ATMs.
Police arrested at least five people, including two juveniles as young as 12 years old.
Now, investigators are looking to find if they have any ties to other crimes as we learn just how coordinated this heist really was.
On Wednesday around 1 a.m., three cars were taken from the Hertz rental car lot at O’Hare. Among the three was a white Infiniti sport-utility vehicle.
Just before 3 a.m., thieves strike at Christina’s Place, at 3759 N. Kedzie Ave. in the Irving Park neighborhood.
A neighbor heard the thieves breaking the restaurant window. They climbed inside, and within a matter of minutes, they dragged the ATM inside out the door, before taking off in a white SUV.
Appearing to follow the Kennedy Expressway, they around 3:30 a.m. struck at Bucktown Pub, 1658 W. Cortland St., but had no luck getting the ATM. So they moved on farther south to The Village Wash, a laundromat at 1726 S. Halsted St. in Pilsen, which they struck at 3:45 a.m.READ MORE: Dolton Police Involved In Incident Where Shots Were Fired On Bishop Ford Freeway
The white SUV pulls up, they used a crowbar to break in – and with completely covered faces, they tried to nab the ATM. No luck.
That changed about an hour later at 4:23 a.m., when they got to OMG Nails and Spa at 1620 S. Michigan Ave. in the South Loop. There, they were successful in taking the ATM.
But the success of the thieves was also their undoing.
“They found the ATM. They found the robbers. Three guys of them,” said OMG Spa owner Chloe Chen, “because the ATM have a GPS.”
As they tried to grab more from other stores down the street, the tracker in the ATM from the spa was giving their every move.
They went on about 10 minutes later to break into Lakeview Market & Liquors at 1118 S. Michigan Ave.
Surveillance video shows one burglar smashing the front window, then he and another person enter the store and quickly steal cigarettes before making off with the cash register.
Sources tell us the GPS in the ATM led police to 19th Street and Lawndale Avenue, as people ran outside with cash spilling from their pockets and a white Infiniti parked right outside.
Of the five people arrested, sources said the two juveniles have since been released.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Cool Changes
There has been a rash of attempted and successful ATM thefts across the city over the last two months. Detectives are now trying to confirm if there is a link between this crew this week and those other crimes from earlier this year.