After leaving his car in a garage at Huron and State over the weekend, Pete Lederer returned Tuesday to find his front driver's side window smashed out so thieves could rummage for valuables. They got away with very little, but it's been a big headache.
"Just so idiotic. There was no purpose, there was nothing that was in the car that could have been attractive to anyone. It makes no sense," Lederer said.
Lederer says he reported it to police and to the garage, but they make it clear you park at your own risk and they assume no liability. He was just one of a number of victims of in recent weeks at downtown garages.
More than a dozen vehicles have been targeted by thieves early Monday morning at a parking garage located at 10 E. Ontario in Chicago's River North neighborhood.
"They only broke into Mercedes, Lexus, BMWs and Audis - only high-end cars," said Chris Klarner, whose car was broken into. "Around here you would think that you are praying a premium amount of money to park in a parking garage down here that your car is going to be safe."
Klarner lives right next door to the garage in Ontario Place. He took photos of the damage to his car, which he had just purchased.
Thieves broke the driver's side window and rummaged through the car for valuables, but they left empty-handed.
"I purposefully didn't have anything in it because I didn't want to have to worry about this," Klarner said.
This parking garage has private and public parking. The break-ins happened in both areas.
The Ontario Place Condominium Association is warning residents who park in the garage to take precautions.
Thieves stole gift cards from Kevin Green's BMW and left more than a $1,000 worth of damage.
"I lived here for four years and never had any incidents like this so I feel a little scared," Green said.
Police are reviewing surveillance video from the garage. Residents at Ontario Place say the garage needs better security.
"Now that these signs have been posted, people's cars have been broken into. I think it would be more comfortable for me just to leave my car knowing that somebody is walking the grounds," said Daniel Yousif, whose car was not hit.
The company that manages the public parking area in the garage is reviewing its security measures. The condo association is doing the same.