Van crashes into Lincoln Park Best Buy in smash-and-grab, police say

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A minivan deliberately crashed into a store, leaving a big hole so thieves could run inside and run out with merchandise, police said.

The incident happened around 4:53 a.m. Sunday in the 2600-block of North Clark Street. Police say the minivan smashed through the window of the store and several men allegedly jumped out, grabbed an unknown amount of items and fled the scene on foot.

Neighbors awoke later to see the damage.

"We didn't hear anything this morning," said Satbir Bajwa. "Woke up at 9 and I was walking down here and that's when I saw it."

"Had they crashed a couple of feet away, it might have damaged our building," Evan Foulsham said.

In another part of the Chicago, Crystal Hill and her husband awoke to another surprise.

"Husband got up about 4:15 to go jogging, he went out there and the car was gone," she said. "We thought maybe it was a joke, maybe our son maybe took it out, but it was actually gone."

Hill said she called police and they told her their van was involved in an accident, so she and her husband went to the Best Buy.

"First we saw the yellow tape, we didn't even see the car," she said. "So we kept going and then we looked and saw it. How they thought they were going to get through actual steel shutters, I don't even understand it."

"While we are disappointed that someone would drive a vehicle through the window of one of our stores, we are relieved that it happened at a time when there were no customers or employees in the store," a Best Buy spokesman John Shelman said in a statement.

No one was injured in the incident, which is being investigated as a burglary and stolen vehicle.

A series of smash-and-grab robberies have hit the area, including at the Neiman Marcus store in the city's Magnificent Mile as well as stores in West Garfield Park and suburban Aurora.
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