Thieves rammed a Nissan Maxima through the front doors of a high-end Rush Street boutique early Friday, then stole thousands of dollars worth of purses and other merchandise from inside, police said.
The bold crash-and-grab crew targeted DIOR, 931 North Rush around 1:05 a.m., according to police and witnesses.
After breaching the front door, three men entered the store and collected merchandise before escaping in a black Audi. They left the Nissan, which is stolen and bears a fake Indiana license plate, at the scene.
Many stores in the downtown area installed shatterproof windows and specially-designed entrances to minimize the risk of crash-and-grab burglaries after waves of looting struck the area last year.
When a reckless driver crashed a car into the same store this summer, prosecutors said the reinforced display window he struck weighed 3,000 pounds.
Shoplifting mobs have repeatedly raided luxury boutiques like DIOR, Gucci, ikram, and Laurent during business hours to steal purses from display shelves.
Police released a video last week of two men swiping armloads of handbags from Botega Veneta, 800 North Michigan. It was the second time the store fell victim to theft teams in a month.
On October 13, up to ten young thieves raided the Saint Laurent store at 11 East Walton around 11:27 a.m. and stole merchandise worth about $35,000, according to an initial estimate.
In August, a 73-year-old security guard was critically injured when a shoplifting mob knocked him to the ground at Salvatore Ferragamo, 645 North Michigan. Crews also hit Burberry and Moncler in September.
The DIOR store may hold the record for the biggest loss to a single shoplifting raid. The retailer lost an estimated $100,000 worth of goods to a theft team that entered the store during business hours in December 2018.
Investigators believe the thefts are conducted by an organized crime ring that sells the stolen merchandise online.