LAKE BLUFF — One car was stolen, two were burglarized and 14 were unlawfully entered in less than an hour October 18, according to Lake Bluff Deputy Police Chief Mike Hosking.
Hosking said all 17 vehicles we unlocked and the keys were inside the stolen car. He said based on evidence recovered, he believes this is part of the same criminal ring that has been stealing and burglarizing cars along the North Shore.
“This looks like it was the same group from Chicago,” said Hosking. “They started in Waukegan, hit Lake Bluff and kept going back to Chicago.”
Of the 16 cars entered, Hosking said property was missing from two including $20 cash and paperwork. When items are taken police consider it a burglary. When nothing is reported missing, it is labeled criminal trespass. More items are being found.
“We’ve been picking up items since,” Hosking said. “We’ve found a brief case, wires, speakers and a women’s purse. When we contacted the owner of the purse she said it was taken in Waukegan.”
The theft, burglaries and criminal trespass to the unlocked cars occurred in the 100 block of West Center Avenue, the 200 block of West Blodgett Avenue, the 100 block of Brierfield Court and the 300 block of Warrington Court, according to Hosking.
Police first got a call from a resident in the 100 block of West Center at 4:40 a.m. saying she saw people outside going through cars, according to Hosking. Assisted by the Lake Forest Police Department, officers converged on the area and gave chase to three cars all pulling onto Green Bay Road.
Hosking said the car stolen in the 200 block of West Blodgett crashed as it was turning west off Green Bay onto Highway 176.
“He didn’t negotiate the turn too well, crashed into the fence and ended up in the woods,” said Hosking. “He took off on foot, crossed 176, got onto the bike path and was not seen again. The woods are thick and it was dark in there.”
Hosking said the owner of the car stolen in Lake Bluff did not know it was no longer in his driveway when the police called.
Of the two cars heading south, Hosking said one was identified as stolen from Northfield from its license plate and ownership of the other one was undetermined.
“They were last seen going south on Highway 41 at a high rate of speed,” said Hosking.
No arrests have been made, according to Hosking.