Police are investigating eight car break-ins and a pickup truck theft reported in a matter of minutes at four stores.
The suspects were last seen driving recklessly out of the St. Clair Square mall parking lot on Tuesday afternoon.
Detectives believe the same group of at least four suspects committed the crimes. Six vehicle break-ins were reported at Best Buy and one each at Lowe’s and Gordmans. The pickup truck, a dark blue 2010 Chevrolet Silverado, was stolen off the Big Lots parking lot at 10850 Lincoln Trail, said Lt. Mike Hoguet.
Hoguet said officers are researching surveillance video for leads.
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The police department began receiving calls about vehicle break-ins at Best Buy at 26 Plaza Drive at 4:10 p.m. Tuesday.
Witnesses reported seeing four suspects flee in a silver Chevrolet Impala.
The suspects had smashed windows to get into the vehicles.
“As the officers were on the scene, we received a call from Big Lots stating that a blue Chevrolet pickup truck was stolen in the last 10 minutes,” Hoguet said.
“As officers responded over there, and began checking the area, there was another call in reference to a break-in at Lowe’s (at 6211 N. Illinois St.) and … St. Clair Square Mall security contacted the police department to advise that a blue Chevrolet and a silver Impala were driving recklessly on their parking lot and were last seen departing the parking lot and the area.”
Hoguet also said the break-in at Gordmans at 81 Ludwig Drive was reported while officers were investigating the reports at the other stores.
Officers do not have a detailed description of the suspects.
The Impala had stolen license plates from a different vehicle. Neither the Impala nor the Silverado have been found.
Hoguet said miscellaneous items laying in the vehicles were stolen in the break-ins.