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Parked cars in downtown garages are becoming targets for thieves more and more

CBS Chicago 11/30/2022 Jermont Terry

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Drivers coming downtown are becoming easy targets – as crooks wait for people to park and then make their move.


As CBS 2's Jermont Terry reported Tuesday, thieves are lurking and smashing car windows in parking garages in the evening and overnight. Many people are coming back to parking garages in the Loop to find items stolen – not to mention damage to their vehicles.

A garage on Monroe Street between Wells and Franklin streets was one of dozens targeted this month. It ruined a visit to the city for an Indiana couple.

"This trip to Chicago was mental get away for both of us," said Derrick Malone.

Malone and his husband, Dalton Childers, drove from Lafayette, Indiana to take in the beauty Chicago offers during the holiday season.

"We went to go see the Bean," Malone said. "We love Grant Park, so we walked around a lot downtown."

As Malone and Childers took in the sights, they originally parked on the street – and they were quickly slapped with a $75 parking ticket.

"I got my first parking ticket, which actually drove us to park in parking garage," Malone said. "I was like, 'You know, can't keep stacking up tickets here,' so we decided to park in a parking garage."

And that was when their trip really went downhill.

"We start walking to our car, and we see other people cars that have been vandalized – like windows busted out," Childers said. "There was one white car with the trunk open with just clothes all over the place."

They snapped pictures showing shattered glass and damage left behind at the garage on West Monroe Street.

Supplied to CBS 2 © Provided by CBS Chicago Supplied to CBS 2

"The fact they can break into all these cars with these blaring alarms - and nobody is concerned about whether someone is coming to find them or anything like that - concerns me," said Malone.

CBS 2 analyzed Chicago Police data, and found when it comes to criminal damage at non-residential Loop garages, there were a total of 76 in all of 2021. Yet this year, that number nearly tripled – jumping to 223 so far.

October was the worst month for Loop garage break-ins, with 39 vehicles damaged.

This comes after the CPD issued a community alert about the uptick. But for Malone and Childers, they are upset there was no mention or warnings posted in the Loop for visitors.

"Even the hotel we stayed at, you know, somebody could've said something – 'Be careful, these things are going on,'" Malone said.

Keep in mind – when you pull into a garage, the liability falls back on you – not the parking garage owner. So you are asked to leave nothing of value in the car – not even in the trunk.

And of course, you should not drop off shopping bags and continue shopping, because the crooks are likely watching too.


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