WILL COUNTY - Residents in the south suburbs are dealing with a rash of vehicle break-ins. In many cases, the criminals are armed.
Now, residents say something has to be done.
The mayor in New Lenox says in the past several months, there have been close to 200 vehicle break-ins in the southwest suburbs. On Thursday morning, there were at least two more in New Lenox.
"My children are scared to go outside tonight,” said victim Lisa Cain.
She fell victim Wednesday night to a busy burglary crew that has been targeting her area. It happened outside her New Lenox home at 2:30 a.m.
“They backed up the driveway and was reaching out the drivers-side window checking to see if cars were unlocked. Got to my son’s car which was unlocked and stole his backpack,” Cain said.
Then two hours later, criminals struck again in New Lenox. The criminal wearing a mask opened an unlocked car door, rummaged around for a few seconds and took off in a getaway car.
Earlier this week, Pamela Wassong's husband was leaving for work at 4:30 a.m. He turned his car on and stepped back inside his home for a moment. His car was stolen in a matter of seconds. She says police happened to be in the area searching for a suspect who had crashed a stolen car and fled on foot.
“Police told me that it’s a sport to them. They are just going around lifting door handles. The problem is it's escalating,” Wassong said.
A similar crime led to shots fired last fall when a burglar fired at the homeowner who caught him in the act. That person still has not been caught.
Will County sheriff's police say just in the last month, they have more than a dozen vehicle break-ins reported. The best advice is to always lock your car doors.