Overnight tire thefts plague Albany Park, video catches thieves in the act

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A rash of car tire thefts is plaguing Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood and now exclusive video shows the thieves caught in the act. (WLS)

An ABC7 Eyewitness News Exclusive
A rash of car tire thefts is plaguing Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood and now exclusive video shows the thieves caught in the act.

The neighborhood of working families is generally quiet in the overnight hours, which is when thieves are swiping those tires and leaving the cars on blocks.

The crime takes just a few short minutes, a team of bandits using a jack to lift a car. Moments later the wheels come off one after another until all four are gone. Then they remove the jack and lower the car onto bricks. It's all done with the speed of a NASCAR pit crew.

"It just looks like someone's changing their tires. They come with drills. Bzz, bzz, bzz. That's it. They're out of there," said Munaf Chand.

Chand is the latest victim of the thieves plaguing Albany Park. He found his car on blocks Thursday morning. The crime is frustrating, but not surprising.

"I wake up in the morning. Toyota Carolla, Toyota Camry right in front of your house on bricks. Next morning, Honda. Morning after that, Jeep. It's just, that's just how it is. Go on the next street, same thing," Chand said.

ABC7 Eyewitness News followed his advice to the next street over and indeed found another victim. He asked not to be identified.

"I've been driving around, seeing cars on bricks. I'm like, 'Oh man, I feel bad for this person.' And one day I wake up, and I'm that person, you know, you're feeling bad for," he said.

ABC7 was the first to report about the crime spree in April after one car after another in Albany Park ended up on blocks.

The stolen tired likely sell for hundreds of dollars on the black market; an easy buck for a few minutes of work.

"They've made thousands of dollars, quick thousands of dollars that people work hard for," Chand said.

The thieves have been targeting Hondas in particular, in part because their wheels are interchangeable with different models. Some of the victims had wheel locks on their car, but they made no difference.
Related Topics:
newschicago crimetheftcarChicago - Albany Park
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