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Police warn drivers about ‘bump and run’ car thieves

CHICAGO -- Chicago police are warning drivers to be on the alert after a string of car thefts on the North Side. In each case, the victims' vehicles are rear-ended, then the thieves drive off with their cars.

Police say the car thieves seem to work as a team -- as many as two or three individuals riding inside their own vehicle, then ramming their car into the back of the victim's car.

Lincoln Park residents are understandably alarmed to hear the news put out in a community alert by the 18th Police District commanders.

The most brazen "bump and run" theft happened in the 1800 block of North Clybourn Avenue. A motorist was rammed from behind on Friday, June 9, at 2:00 in the afternoon, an extremely busy time and a busy intersection.

A second "bump and run" happened in the 1500 block of North Dayton Street on Tuesday, June 13, at 10:06 p.m.

The most recent incident happened in the 100 block of East La Salle Drive on Thursday, June 15, at 9:00 p.m.

Back in May a very similar incident was captured on surveillance video when Chicago Bear Kevin White's Mazerati was stolen in West Town.

Lincoln Park residents say it is another reminder that crime can happen at any time.

There are ways to protect yourself. Chicago police say if you're victimized, turn off the engine before you get out of your car and don't leave your keys in the vehicle. Lock your doors and windows before you get out. Hopefully that will frustrate the would-be thieves and they'll flee.

Afterwards, once it's safe, if you can find a store or business that has surveillance video of the incident, try and make a copy of that surveillance video for the police. Also, try and find any witnesses.