Fulton River District: Four months after we told you (with video), cops say there’s an auto burglary problem

This will be old news to CWB regulars, but Chicago police have issued a community alert to warn about a wave of auto break-ins around the Fulton River District. The warning from Area Three detectives says “unknown offenders” are breaking into cars on and near the 500 block of North Union.

Well, duh. We told you that in January as we shared video showing a highly effective burglary team doing exactly that. “Last year, CPD recorded 13 crimes on the 500 block of North Union. Ten of them were thefts from vehicles or on the street,” we reported.

Now, police have identified a pattern of auto break-ins on that block and nearby.

Since March 30, there have been four car break-ins on the 500 block of North Union, four more on the 400 block of North Union, three on the 600 block of West Hubbard, and two more on nearby streets, police said in a recent community alert. Most of the break-ins were reported between 3:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., police said. They did not release a description of the offenders.

Video we shared in January shows a burglary crew sitting in a parked car on the 500 block of North Union. The SUV pulls out of view and then returns to make a quick hit on a parked car.

In the footage, it takes just eight seconds for a burglar to pry out the passenger side window of a woman’s car. A couple more seconds to grab bags containing at least $5,000 worth of property from her front seat. And less than 30 seconds total.

Her boyfriend marveled at the man’s “quickness and ability to break it that fast…You can tell from that video it’s not the first time he did it.” The woman’s car was targeted as she dropped off a clothing donation at the Salvation Army Thrift Store, 509 North Union, he said.

The boyfriend filed a police report online because Chicago doesn’t dispatch police for auto break-ins. But he never heard from investigators.

“I thought having it on video, they would wanna see if it’s anyone they’re looking for. Apparently not. Oh well, lesson learned.”

Police are now asking anyone who knows anything about the burglars to call Area Three detectives at 312-744-8263. Refer to crime pattern #P21-3-057.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com