CHICAGO (WLS) --Thieves are targeting vans on residential streets in two Chicago neighborhoods. Police say the crimes involve larger vans often used to carry tools and equipment.
Electrician Denny Cullnen was leaving for work last Thursday morning when he looked out of his window to find his company-issued Ford Econoline van was gone.
"You feel helpless. There's nothing you can do unless you sit up and watch your truck all night or whatever," Cullnen said.
Cullnen's was one of two Ford Econoline vans stolen in Beverly the same night.
"I think what they are going for is the equipment from the workers such as tools of any kind," Cullnen.
Chicago police issued a community alert about the van thefts, a total of four that have taken place in Beverly and Morgan Park from early December to last week.
Police said the incidents have happened on the 105000-block of Artesian, the 9800-block of Damen, the 9700-block of Seeley, and the 114000-block of Talman. Police say the crimes were committed between midnight and 7:30 a.m.
Cullnen's van was found abandoned a few days later. His company's tools and ladders were stolen. He's now driving a replacement.
"Mind you, we've lived here for about 35 years, my husband has worked for the same company for all that time so for about 30 years, we've never had a problem," said Sue Cullnen, whose husband's van was stolen.
"You know, that element of people are out there. And as much as you try to protect yourself, there are some things you can't do," Cullnen said.
Police advise putting vans in a secure garage and installing an audible car alarm to deter potential thieves.