Police say eight to 10 thieves rammed a U-Haul truck through the glass entrance of a high-end designer store Thursday and made off with about $150,000 in handbags and other items.
Something similar happened in April at the same designer store — Louis Vuitton — six months ago in Chicago’s famed retail area, the Magnificent Mile.
It’s unclear if the same group of thieves was involved, but Columbus police have told local media they suspect the group of smash-and-grab bandits there had done similar crimes before.
The incident in Columbus happened at Eaton Town Center. The U-Haul smashed into the Louis Vuitton — where many handbags sell for $2,000-$3,000 — just after 5:30 a.m. The U-Haul used in the heist was later found abandoned in a church parking lot about 23 miles west of the mall.
The Chicago smash-and-grab happened in April in the 900 block of North Michigan Avenue just after midnight.
According to the Chicago Tribune, a dark-colored sedan crashed into another car before plowing into the revolving doors.
Five robbers in that case grabbed items from the store and fled in a dark-colored SUV, leaving the smashed car behind, the newspaper reported.
Police in Chicago in 2015, rounded up several people who were involved in a similar group of smash-and-grab crimes who stole more that $2 million in merchandise over several months.
Closer to home, Cleveland police over the past year have investigated more than a dozen incidents involving cars plowing through the windows and doors of convenience stores and other businesses to access ATMs inside.
In Akron, someone rammed a Dodge pickup into a Bureau of Motor Vehicles in Ellet trying to steal an ATM in September. The state Highway Patrol said the thief got away with nothing in that case because the truck got stuck on top of the automated banking machine.