CHICAGO (WLS) --At least four BMWs were stolen from a dealership warehouse on Chicago's North Side. Police found the cars abandoned in a lot about a mile away.
Investigators are working to determine if the heist is related to a similar dealership theft in north suburban Evanston.
Police said several people broke a window at the Goose Island Petrillo BMW dealership in the 1300-block of North North Branch Street shortly after midnight, found the keys to at least four cars and drove them off the lot.
There are more than 1,000 BMWs at the dealership, so a manager said as of 11 a.m. Thursday, they were still taking inventory to see if any other cars were stolen.
The brand new, stolen BMWs were found a short time later in a parking lot near North Milwaukee Avenue and West Augusta Boulevard in the city's Noble Square neighborhood. The vehicles did not appear to be damaged. The thieves are still on the run.
A manager from Perillo BMW picked up the stolen cars Thursday morning. He did not want to comment, other than to say he was happy police found them.
"We never had any indication that it wasn't safe. So I guess I need to really rethink where I park now," said Zlatan Hodzic, who parks daily in the lot where the stolen BMWs were found.
Hodzic, who also happens to drive a BMW, said he thinks if the thieves come back, the criminals would not go after his property.
"It's an older model hopefully doesn't attract too much attention," Hodzic said.
Another man, who also parks in the lot, is more concerned. His Volkswagen is brand new.
"I just got it. I don't want it stolen," he said.
Coincidentally, he told ABC7 Eyewitness News he bought his VW from Autobarn Mazda in north suburban Evanston - another dealership recently targeted by thieves.
Last Friday, five luxury cars were stolen from the Autobarn. Surveillance video showed the suspects got away with four BMWs and a recently-sold Porsche.
Evanston and Chicago police are working together to determine if the two dealership break-ins are connected. No arrests have been made in either case.
Anyone with information pertinent to the investigation should call Area Central detectives.