A group of 14 thieves operating out of three getaway vehicles stole roughly $120,000 worth of merchandise from a Louis Vuitton store in Chicago's suburbs last week, according to police.
Surveillance video shows the thieves wearing masks and all-black clothing as they entered the store in an Oak Brook, Illinois, shopping mall on Wednesday, grabbing all kinds of items before quickly rushing away from the area.
"Once they entered the store, they pulled out the garbage bags from their coats and started filling them with merchandise," Oak Brook Police Chief James Kruger said, according to WLS-TV.
Kruger noted that area law enforcement officers are still working to identify the suspects by tracking the license plate information associated with the getaway vehicles.
On Friday, the Chicago Police Department seized one of the three vehicles allegedly used in the theft, a Dodge Charger that was reported stolen in October, NBC News reported. But as of Monday, no arrests have been made.
Oak Brook Louis Vuitton hit by 14 'grab-and-run' thieves, police say | ABC7 Chicago www.youtube.com
Kruger noted the Oak Brook grab-and-run presented striking similarities to an incident that took place at a Louis Vuitton store in the northern suburbs of Chicago only weeks prior.
In that case, 13 thieves and three getaway drivers burst into a Louis Vuitton store in a Northbrook, Illinois, shopping mall, stealing more than $150,000 in merchandise, police said.
"We don't know if there is a connection yet, but certainly there are similarities and our investigators are talking to their investigators," Kruger noted, adding, "The attorney general is looking into this investigation as well and whether or not to tie it to a larger scale investigation."
Oak Brook residents interviewed by local media said they were shocked that the crime occurred in a typically safe area of the Chicago metropolitan area.
"This is a safe area," one shopper told WLS. "We come here all the time. The kids play outside."
Another added: "You don't expect that kind of thing to happen outside of the city, too. I actually moved in from the city just recently. I thought I escaped all of that."
Rampant theft and looting continue to be a problem in many communities across the country. Over the weekend in Walnut Creek, California, a roving band of at least 80 masked burglars ransacked a Nordstrom department store.
The mob of criminals reportedly "stole goods, smashed shelves, and fled to their vehicles while carrying both bags and boxes of stolen merchandise."