15 cars stolen from Oak Park Hertz

Thieves smashed front door, stole keys from shop

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

Employees of Hertz rental car, 629 W. Madison St. in Oak Park, arrived at work at 7:30 a.m. on March 29 to find a smashed front door and 15 cars missing from the rear parking lot, according to Oak Park police.

Police said in a news release that the thieves broke through the glass front door sometime overnight, forced open a storage box that contained the keys to the rental cars and used them to steal the vehicles.

Thieves then cut the lock to the security gate to the parking lot to gain access to the vehicles.

The business closed at about 6:30 p.m. on March 28.

Police did not have a combined value of the vehicles.

Anyone with information can contact police at 708-386-3800 or anonymously at 708-434-1636 or online at www.oak-park.us/crimetip.

CONTACT: tim@oakpark.com

Reader Comments

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Kline Maureen  

Posted: March 31st, 2018 2:45 PM

@Brian Slowiak - I get your point... yet - I'd rather have criminals "try harder" than have them consider Oak Park a "cake walk'

Kevin Peppard  

Posted: March 31st, 2018 2:34 PM

The scary thing here is: What if the police had arrived in the midst of this? There were probably about 20 perps involved, with many, or most, or even all of them armed. The police, in those wee hours, do not have that same number of officers available, and they are scattered and would have arrived piecemeal. All they could have done is disrupted the theft, and called for backup from other departments. This is similar to what the Chicago police face when "wilding" (flash mobs) occur on North Michigan Avenue. Few if any people get arrested. This was an obviously well-organized gang event. Welcome to crime spillover from Chicago. Oak Park is getting known as easy pickings. As the Trib article I previously mentioned says, those cars will be used in carjackings, to hit other cars, and then wait for the owner to get out. They then trade up to a BMW.

Jg Morales  

Posted: March 30th, 2018 9:15 PM

Alex.... No. Supporting social improvements is not the same as being in favor of a communist revolution. ?'

Jeff Schroeder from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2018 5:19 PM

This ultimately will affect all of us, as the insurance payout on this will be huge. Oak Park's rating will go down, as it no doubt already has for all the car jackings, etc. This is going to be one huge headache for the owner. Hollywood glamorizes car thieves but the victims here are everyone that has a job there.

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2018 4:30 PM

This all would not have happened if only there was a curve in Madison Street

Nikial Herd  

Posted: March 30th, 2018 3:19 PM

The Oak Park police can surly stop U 2 give a ticket and they always@ the 711 doqn the street but they wasn't around when this happened UNBELIEVABLE ?

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: March 30th, 2018 3:16 PM

@ Kline Maureen: The last thing Oak Park needs is for criminals to be trying harder.

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: March 30th, 2018 3:13 PM

@ Dwyer: Underthinking is still thinking. So I accept that.

Kevin Peppard from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2018 1:37 PM

I started this thread, and here is what I have learned. This is actually not that uncommon, and I vaguely recalled hearing about at car dealers and rental places elsewhere.. Hers' a link to a Trib story: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-chicago-car-thefts-dealerships-met-0719-20170718-story.html I retract my comments that this might have been an inside job. Any past customer might have known where the keys are kept. Or it just could have been a high risk job, the sort that punks get involved in, knowing that they will only be charged as juveniles. Note that the previous record was 13 cars, so with 15, Oak Park is now in the record books. Whoopee!

Alan Albro from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2018 1:18 PM

Alex Garcia, Your comment is great. I love it!

Alex Garcia  

Posted: March 30th, 2018 11:59 AM

Isn't this simply an example of the "redistribution of wealth"? Isn't that the kind of thing that Oak Park and Oak Parkers normally support, or at least turn a blind eye and deaf ear to while fulminating about white privilege, microaggressions, Israel, the 2nd Amendment, and a whole host of other things?

Alice Caputo  

Posted: March 30th, 2018 11:13 AM

One of the former spokespersons is a convicted felon out on parole; might be good to check on his whereabouts that evening.

Kline Maureen  

Posted: March 30th, 2018 9:09 AM

well Avis is #2, and don't they try harder? I wonder how many cars will be stolen from the Avis lot over on Madison?

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: March 30th, 2018 8:48 AM

Perhaps you were under thinking it, Brian? Since Hertz doesn't do driving for people.

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: March 30th, 2018 8:33 AM

Okay, how about "Put you in the drivers seat" and if I recall there was a guy flying down thru the air into a driverless car, to the drivers seat of a convertible no less. Wish I had the chance to pick up a 1966 Shelby GT 350H, black with gold stripes, from Hertz. I would even accept the automatic transmission.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: March 30th, 2018 7:11 AM

"Leave the Driving to Us" was Greyhound's tag line.

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: March 29th, 2018 11:05 PM

@ Kevin: You are over thinking this. In the 70s wasn't Hertzs motto.leave the driving to us?

Kevin Peppard from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2018 5:34 PM

Terry, to get the number of drivers, it could be a gang initiation. Use three cars with six people each. The extra five beyond the driver in each car become the new drivers. Using the knowledge of someone who works there, or used to work there. find the key box, use bolt cutters on the gate lock, and they're out in minutes. Park the cars on the street on the West Side or in individual garages, if available. The cars are not for sale, or for chop shops, but for use in other crimes, and to be later discarded. It's also for the bragging rights, and the street cred, nationally. Just my two cents. Or even three.

Kevin Peppard from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2018 5:14 PM

@ Terry Stanton: Yes, how did they get the drivers? This thing smells of inside job, perhaps a past employee. Those cars now have to be sitting someplace, and fifteen cars aren't easy to hide. Some major West Side gang caper? This might be easy to solve. Might be worth national news. really putting Oak Park on the map, in a way we don't want.

Terry Stanton  

Posted: March 29th, 2018 5:06 PM

For matching the keys, there is both often a push button fob plus the key set often identifies the car by make and plate. How they got all the drivers I don't know!

Kevin Peppard from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2018 4:58 PM

Is this an April Fools Joke several days early, on the WJ? How does some group steal fifteen cars, and have time to match up the keys to the vehicles, and no one noticed? Did they bring in a tour bus for the drivers? Or load the vehicles on several truck trailers? Again. it's bizarre. It doesn't pass the smell test.

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