2 in custody after van crashes into Neiman Marcus in Mag Mile smash and grab, police say

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Two men are in custody after a van crashed into the Neiman Marcus on Chicago's Magnificent Mile in a smash-and-grab robbery, police said.

Officers responded to a "theft in progress call" around 4 a.m. Wednesday. They found the van inside the luxury department store, located near Michigan Avenue and Superior Street, and the side entrance damaged. A number of handbags were seen on the sidewalk outside.

Police said several men were seen running from the scene, trying to get into a getaway vehicle. Two of the men did not make it and were taken into custody on St. Clair Street.

"I saw guys running and grabbing things. There were two getaway cars, a white one and a red van, they sped off and I saw two guys coming at me," said Juliana Martini, a witness.

Marcus McNeese works at a nearby hotel and spotted one of the men.

"I looked, and when I saw that, then I went back and told my coworker that there was a guy hiding between the compacter, so he went and told police," McNeese said. "And then they came over and got the guy out."

Officers chased the getaway vehicle to the Dan Ryan Expressway and eventually called off the pursuit due to high speeds. The vehicle was found abandoned near West 73rd Street and South Perry Avenue.

This is the seventh smash and grab in the Chicago area since September, though it is not clear if the incidents are related.

In the meantime, some customers say it's a sign of the times, and that it does not scare them away from shopping.

"It's torn up a little, but we're not going to let something like that keep stores closed or anything," said Mark Hanby.

"Seems like they collected themselves well in there," said Brad Dubin, a shopper. "I would have never known."

Neiman Marcus confirms a limited amount of merchandise was stolen, and authorities say most of it has been recovered. No charges have been filed.
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