Jill Silverstein, whose silver 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee was stolen from a garage near North State and East Oak streets, said she feels upset and violated, to say the least. She filed a police report Friday morning.
“The parking attendant came down and was shaking his head. I was like, ‘What does that mean?'” Silverstein said. “My first thought was, ‘How am I going to get to my meeting?’ Now I have to deal with getting a new car.”
Employees at the parking garage still trying to figure out how many cars may have been taken. Silverstein’s vehicle was one of at least two vehicles that were stolen.
“It’s a sickening feeling that there’s people who have no regard and want to just commit crime,” Silverstein said.
The parking attendant who was on duty at the time said he believes he was being watched.
“I’m kind of confused, unsettled. I’m trying to figure it out,” he said. “I figured out that they came in with a small car, parked there and they were probably monitoring when I walk upstairs, so they drove in. They were probably watching me.”
The attendant, who wished to remain anonymous, said five young men came to the garage near North State and East Oak streets around 11 p.m. Thursday and watched him as he drove up to park cars.
He said they managed to get away with at least two cars, including a white SUV. As they drove down the ramp, they rammed a car the attendant was trying to park to move him out of their way.
“We met at the ramp over here. It was too narrow. Two cars could not pass each other. So he was bumping me and I was flashing him, stop, stop!” the attendant said.
This garage, managed by Capital Parking, has monthly customers. It is also used to valet cars from nearby restaurants in the upscale neighborhood, like Gibson’s.
“It makes me angry, because I am the only one on shift. They took advantage of that,” the attendant said.
News of the auto theft left people who park in the garage feeling unsettled.
“I was thinking this was one of the safest neighborhoods in Chicago, but yeah. I guess that’s really scary. It can happen anywhere,” said a woman named Lauren, who did not want her last name shared.
“I think you start feeling unsafe when you see that happen and you feel like, ‘Where is the sense of security?'” said Charlotte Radcliffe, who also parks in the garage.
Police recently investigated similar burglaries that have plagued the Chicago area, but many of the targets have been car dealerships.
In February, five masked men broke into the Marino Chrysler Jeep Dodge in the city’s Portage Park neighborhood, but they ran off after they couldn’t find the keys. At least seven have been targeted since the beginning of the year.
Police have not linked the Gold Coast theft incident to the other thefts. ABC7 Eyewitness News reached out Friday to Capital Parking. As of 11 a.m., the company had not returned calls for comment.