This isn't a new method of burglary by any stretch, but it seems to be gaining traction throughout the region:
- Barreling a vehicle through a store's thick glass window, the masked thieves smash a path toward their target: expensive jeans, handbags or jewelry.
They scurry to grab as much high-end merchandise as can fit in their arms, then hustle from the scene. In a flash, they're gone with goods often worth tens of thousands of dollars.
A growing number of Chicago-area retailers have been hit by these audacious, well-organized burglaries in recent weeks, adding a new twist on the typical "smash-and-grab" heist as the holiday shopping season begins full-throttle.
Just last week eight burglars wearing masks and gloves slammed a car early in the morning through the front door of a Louis Vuitton store at a mall in Northbrook, fleeing with top-flight purses and other merchandise.
Not to be outdone, some west-siders tried a local store:
- A swarm of as many as 20 thieves stripped a West Side clothing store of jeans and shoes after crashing a van through the front doors early Wednesday, according to police and store workers.
"This was a planned attack," said one worker, who did not want to be identified. "They gathered everything they knew was expensive. All the good stuff."
[...]In a pattern that has been seen across the Chicago area over the last few months, the thieves drove through the doors of the Cisco Nyc store in the 4000 block of West Madison Street around 4:15 a.m., according to police.
The red Dodge Caravan came to rest well inside the store while at least three other cars pulled up, according to store workers. As many as 20 people then spread out and cleared the shelves within minutes, according to police and store workers. They even stripped clothes off mannequins, they said.
Maybe a couple big pointy steel spikes at windshield height might dissuade these ne'er-do-wells?