CHICAGO (WLS) — Car thieves struck again in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood with a group getting away with several vehicles Tuesday morning.
The I-Team got an exclusive look at the video showing the latest attack in progress as the brazen bandits drive off with a half dozen high end vehicles, leaving their owners in the dust.
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It’s the latest in a string of thefts carried out at auto repair businesses throughout the Northwest Side in what appears to be a well-honed invasion of the body shop snatchers.
The precision strikes are carried out by teams of masked thieves –targeting luxury vehicles that are in for repair work.
Eddie Zipperstein, the owner of Richard’s Body Shop at 3041 West Lawrence Avenue in Chicago, said the thieves struck early Tuesday morning. Security cameras captured the crime in progress.
“I saw six guys went underneath the door and jammed it open and ran inside and were just looking thorough the shop drove off with two cars from the office,” Zipperstein said, “and then they took keys from the key box back there and went into the parking lot across the street and took another four cars.”
The Chicago Police Department provided this statement about the coordinated theft :
“Offenders forced entry to rear garage door of a business in the 3000 block of W. Lawrence. The offenders removed vehicle keys from a key box and took vehicles from the business. Vehicles taken were a Infinity QX60, Toyota Highlander. They then went across the street to property owned by the same business and knocked down a fence using an SUV and took a Range Rover Evoque, and a Infinti Q50. No one is in custody. Detectives are investigating.”
The thieves seem to target car with as little damage as possible.
Shanda, who asked that we not use her last name, owns the 2015 Range Rover that was taken from the outdoor lot. She fears she will never see her car again.
“It looks like they have done this before. You know they were well organized. It only took them a minute or or less to get into the shop and steal the keys and they knew where the other cars were parked,” she said.
SEE ALSO | At least 5 auto repair shops in Albany Park, Irving Park targeted by thieves in last week
In Irving Park last month, stick-wielding thieves hit one auto body shop; while nearby in Albany Park in early November an armed team of hooded car poachers boosted several luxury vehicles in seconds.
Five auto body shops hit last month alone that crime pattern prompted a Chicago police alert.
Shanda is frustrated that the crimes are continuing.
“I can’t really even say, I just feel like the thieves are constantly doing this and they’re not, there’s no consequences are being made. You know, and you we all you grow up and you think you should work. You should go to school and you should get your education so you could afford the things that you want and therefore to be taken. You know it’s unacceptable. And something really needs to be done.”
CPD officials are not saying if or what they are doing to prevent future heists.
Three of the cars taken Tuesday have now been recovered; two were easily found because the owners had GPS tracking.
Zipperstein said the garage door to his shop has now been reinforced and all car keys will now be kept in a safe. He also told the I-Team a glitch discovered in the security system has now been fixed.
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