Smash-and-grab: Video catches thieves ram SUV into contracting business in Kilbourn Park

Wednesday, March 27, 2024
Chicago contracting business hit by crash-and-grab robbers
Surveillance video caught thieves ram an SUV into the Way-Ken Contractors Supply store in smash-and-grab near Kilpatrick Avenue on Tuesday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Thousands of dollars' worth of equipment and cash were stolen from a Northwest Side business in a Tuesday morning crash-and-grab, the business owner said.

Police said because the crime is so fresh they cannot yet make a connection between this crash-and-grab and several other burglaries that have mostly targeted plumbing and electrical companies over the last two months, but it certainly fits the pattern.

The crime happened around 5 a.m. at Way-Ken Contractors Supply near Kilpatrick Avenue and Belmont Avenue in the Kilbourn Park neighborhood.

"They don't care. They obviously don't care," said Wayne Weinke III, owner of Way-Ken Contractors Supply.

Surveillance video captured masked suspects ramming a black SUV into a gate leading into the Kilbourn Park business. Weinke said they took off with construction tools, including saws, welder and generators, and cash.

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Weinke's father watched the burglary in real time, and alerted his son to what was happening. The thieves were in and out in 14 minutes. Police arrived at the scene four minutes later.

"It's extremely frustrating since we go through all the steps to try and keep people out of our building, blocking doors, putting gates up. Locking locks," Weinke said. "We park a truck up against the overhead door, we have a gate on the outside that we thought would keep people from backing into the door."

Surveillance video shows at least two masked suspects using flashlights to find and snatch different pieces of equipment.

"They went into places, nooks and crannies in this place where they could have been trapped in and they had no idea," Weinke said. "They didn't care."

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In an ironic twist of fate, a plumbing business owned by Weinke's friend and client Jesus Sinchi was hit just 15 minutes before by the same group of thieves, aboard the same vehicle. Surveillance video from that incident shows the suspects attempting and failing to ram through his garage several times and later, upon seeing the surveillance camera, trying to disable it.

"Fortunately they can't get anything from there. My truck was parked inside close to the garage door. So they hit many times but they couldn't get in," Sinchi said.

While police continue to investigate these latest crimes, over a dozen other burglaries on the North Side dating back to January may be connected. Weinke said he doesn't intend to make it easy for thieves to target him again.

"We park a truck right against the overhead door. We have a gate on the outside that we thought would keep people from backing into the door. We're going to put another bar up and who knows what else we'll do inside. We have to protect what's ours," he said.

No one is in custody as detectives continue their investigation.

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