Van crashes into South Side EZ Pawn in smash-and-grab robbery

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Police are investigating a smash-and-grab robbery where a van crashed through the front doors of a pawn shop in Chicago's West Englewood neighborhood just before 4 a.m. Tuesday.

This incident is the sixth "crash-and-grab" robbery to take place in the Chicago area since September. Although it is not clear whether they are connected, the common denominator in the past incidents is the thieves use stolen vehicles to force their way into their targets.

"It's amazing that people have the nerve to do this - on Western Avenue. At 4 a.m., I'm assuming there isn't a lot of traffic. But that's a lot of gall, on a main street, to just come out and run into a store," Alderman Toni Foulkes said.

The EZ Pawn shop in the 6700-block of South Western Avenue has only been open a few weeks. Randy Cohens, brother of the store manager, said three thieves were in and out in under two minutes. He said they didn't take much of value.

"Little bitty stuff. Little cameras and stuff. It was right there, and that's it. The other stuff, all the valuables, is locked up. That was stupid. They did all this damage for the little stuff, that they probably can't even sell for $500," Cohens said.

Police have not confirmed how many suspects were involved in the robbery. They said electronics and other items were stolen, but have not released how much the stolen property is worth.

Investigators are looking at surveillance video and processing the scene for evidence.

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