More than 20 cars burglarized in one weekend in Naperville, police say

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (WLS) -- Naperville police believe there are at least two distinct groups responsible after more than 20 cars were burglarized in one weekend.

On the one hand, there are those hitting residential areas and apartment complexes.

"There are kids that go around at night, try car doors and they get valuables inside the car. And unfortunately, more often than not there are keys to those cars in them as well," said Sgt. Steve Schindlbeck, Naperville Police Dept.

More sophisticated and harder to track however, is a band of "smash and grab" thieves known as the Felony Lane Gang. Based out of Florida, they operate all over the country and move around frequently, targeting folks primarily in the parking lots of health clubs and day care centers.

"They park, they run in. Because they're only going to be inside a short time they leave their valuables sitting on the front seats. The members of the gang run up, smash the window, help themselves to the purse and are gone within seconds," Sgt. Schindlbeck said.

The gang gets their name from what comes next: pulling up to the outermost lane at drive-thru ATM's armed with their newly acquired checkbooks and ID's. And while tracking thieves is nearly impossible, preventing the crime is easy since most of those hit either leave their car doors unlocked or leave their belongings in plain sight.

"I think if I lock the door, nobody is going to break the glass and if someone is breaking the glass someone is going to see them and stop them. Plus I think I'll be in and out in 5 minutes and nobody is going to bother my stuff," Patty Conti said.

Doors were left unlocked in every single one of the more than 20 burglaries reported over the weekend, police said.
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