VIDEO: Smash-and-grab burglars target businesses in Deerfield, Lake Forest, North Chicago

DEERFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- Masked thieves smashed into several north suburban businesses, ripping off cash registers early Monday morning.

At least five gas stations across Deerfield, Lake Forest and North Chicago were hit by smash-and-grab burglaries and one of the crimes was caught on camera.

In Deerfield, one burglary occurred in the 600 block of Waukegan Road and the other in the 2200 block of Deerfield Road.

In each incident, police said the burglars made entry by smashing the glass doors of the businesses.

"The first one came inside and opened my drawer and took all the money, there was some money underneath so they took that one," said Deerfield Mobil owner Anil Abbott.

Abbott said his security system let him know the store's alarm was going off shortly before 2 a.m. That was 15 minute after Deerfield BP owner Dave Welch was notified that his gas station's alarm system was going off.

"Three or four guys with hoodies and sweatshirts proceeded to take the ATM machine, but then the alarm went off it must have scared them they weren't able to get anything after that," Welch said.

Abbott said the suspects tried to take the safe and the ATM at his gas station but they were secured well enough to prevent theft. But the thieves were able to get away with the ATM at gas stations in Lake Forest and North Chicago.

Business owners and residents said the smash-and-grab spree is a rare occurrence for these Lake County suburbs.

"Yes, it's unusual here on the North Shore, but things can happen anywhere," Welch said.

"It's shocking. I'm really surprised, I'm just glad no one is here overnight working a shift when these things happen, because it is scary," said Deerfield resident Amber Reed.

None of the gas stations were open at the time of the smash and grab spree.

Police said the four masked men fled each location in a white Jeep Grand Cherokee.
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