Sadly, it’s just another day in the Prairie State…
Per law enforcement, four BMW SUVs were stolen from a dealership in the area of Peoria, Illinois on the morning of March 10. Illinois State Police and other agencies gave chase for over 100 miles as the pursuit reached the Chicago area. As we’ve noted many times in the past, with the car theft trend only growing, dealerships have become common targets since criminals know there will be nobody around to stop them as they break into and start vehicles.
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During the chase, the Grundy County Sheriff’s Office was contacted for help. Deputies set up spike strips on Interstate 80 at mile post 111, successfully spiking the tires of three of the four stolen BMWs. Two of the drivers crashed the vehicles, however the occupants were picked up by what law enforcement is calling a “chase vehicle” which was trailing behind.
That chase car fled the area and other police agencies tried to stop it in the area around I-80 and I-355. From reports, it sounds like that vehicle was never caught, so the suspects unfortunately got away. Officials were able to recover three of the four stolen BMWs, although two were crashed but we don’t know how bad the damage is since no photos have been released. An investigation is ongoing, so hopefully the fourth BMW and the suspects will be caught.
We don’t know much more about this incident, so it leaves plenty of unanswered questions. How the chase went on for over 100 miles without the police spiking the BMWs’ tires or performing a PIT maneuver isn’t apparent. We also don’t know if the thieves had to reprogram the ignitions on the Bimmers or if they just broke into the key lockbox in the dealership office. We’ve seen both approaches to boosting cars from dealerships.
We also don’t know if these were vehicles for sale or if they belong to customers who dropped them off for servicing. What we do know is everyone, including car dealerships, need to tighten up security. It would also be nice to see some prosecutors get serious about breaking up these car theft rings, attacking the problem at its source for a change.