Crime and Courts

Chicago police say stolen vehicles used as battering rams in recent smash-and-grab burglaries

Shoe stores among those targeted.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Police say several Chicago stores have been victims of smash-and-grab burglaries in which a stolen vehicle is used as a battering ram to initiate the crime.

A Tri-Taylor shoe store is the latest victim of such an instance, with a group of suspects using a stolen vehicle to break through the reinforced storefront of Flee Club at 2221 West Taylor Street early Wednesday morning, making off with thousands of dollars worth of merchandise.

Security camera footage caught the break-in from at least four different angles, capturing a grey Jeep SUV smash through the building's storefront twice before suspects emerged from the vehicle and began grabbing merchandise.

The suspects then escaped in a waiting getaway vehicle, abandoning the stolen Jeep at the store.

“You hate to see stuff like this happen,” landlord Alex Brusha told NBC Chicago. “These guys are working hard.”

Flee Club is not alone, as a group of thieves used a stolen Dodge Charger to smash through the storefront of a River North shoe store, also making off with thousands of dollars in merchandise on Tuesday.

Wednesday morning's burglary at Flee Club is the store's fifth in just the last two years. Police have yet to determine if any of the incidents are connected, and no one is in custody.

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