A band of burglars who specialize in stealing ATMs from businesses during overnight hours struck twice this morning in the Lakeview neighborhood. The crew apparently tried to take another cash machine in Bucktown minutes earlier, but failed.
The latest crimes come less than a week after the team struck a series of stores across the North Side last Tuesday morning.
Patrol officers reported seeing two Jeeps — one black, the other white or gray — speeding around North Side neighborhoods around 4:20 a.m. Monday.
Just before 5 a.m., police found the front doors smashed out the door glass at Arturo’s Tacos, 2001 North Western in Bucktown. Officers said the burglars used a sledgehammer to break in and then tried to take the restaurant’s ATM, but the men failed to dislodge it.
But the crew had better luck about 30 minutes later at Burrito House, 3547 North Lincoln in Lakeview. There, the team got away with an ATM and cash register after breaking through the front door, according to a CPD report.
Around 7 a.m., a passerby found the front door glass broken out at Traspasada, 3605 North Ashland. It was also burglarized. Police said the ATM was gone and the restaurant’s register was damaged. Video showed the offenders using a sledgehammer to break in around 4:53 a.m.
On January 26, a group of about 6 offenders used a black Jeep and another vehicle as they broke into groceries, liquor stores, and retail shops throughout Lakeview and Old Town.
They wrapped up their night by brazenly dislodging and stealing an ATM from an Old Town service station that was open for business with an employee present. WGN acquired video of that theft:
Police issued two community alerts about the burglary team later the same day. In those bulletins, detectives linked the break-ins to a series of other retail break-ins that were reported in Lincoln Park on December 26, January 1, and January 20.
According to CPD, last week’s crew consisted of about six Black males between 18- and 30-years-old who wore masks, gloves, and dark clothing.
Anyone with information about the burglars can contact Area Three detectives at 312-744-8263.