Chicago crime: Smash-and-grab thieves target North Side auto shops, stealing keys and cars


CHICAGO (WLS) — Smash-and-grab thieves have targeted nearly a dozen Chicago auto repair shops, stealing keys and in some cases vehicles.

The thieves used a brick or large rock to smash the one business’s windows and were in and out in less than three minutes.

“It’s sad. I mean, I don’t like to see it here. It’s a good neighborhood. You know, of course, you don’t like to see this in your work,” said Mike Mashkovich of Tuffy Auto Repair.

Mashkovich works as the Tuffy Auto Repair in Lakeview as shop foreman. He said those windows were made of safety glass, but that didn’t stop the offenders from peeling back a section like a shower certain and climbing through one by one, a little before 5 a.m. Saturday. In the early morning darkness, with one of the thieves wearing a headlamp and another using the flashlight on his phone, the three men rifle through the office.

“They’re just looking for keys, and I’m sure they’re frantic, and they got a short time period, and they’ve got to make it quick,” he said.

After kicking in an office door, they finally found what they were looking for: a trove of car keys.

The theft was one of nearly a dozen since the weekend targeting North Side auto repair shops. The latest was early Thursday morning near Pulaski and Fullerton, where the criminals stole keys and then used them to swipe two vehicles. A pair of cars were also stolen from Tuffy by those thieves with keys in hand.

A surveillance camera captured them driving a Land Rover and a BMW right off the lot.

“We think we weren’t so vulnerable, but it looks like we’d have to be a little bit more secure about it,” Mashkovich said.

At Tuffy they have beefed up their security to prevent a repeat, and police are urging other business owners to do the same.

Post source: Abc7chicago

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