Cook County Sheriff’s Police have arrested one of two teenage boys suspected of stealing a black 2022 Kia Sportage from the east parking lot at the North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, on the night of Oct. 30, charging him with one felony count of possession of a stolen motor vehicle and a misdemeanor count of theft.
The owner of the stolen vehicle flagged down a North Riverside police officer on patrol at the mall just before 9 p.m., showing the officer broken glass where the car had been parked.
Security video showed that at 7:53 p.m. a maroon Kia sedan with a broken rear driver’s side window pulled next to the Sportage. Two people are seen exiting the sedan, using a screwdriver to shatter the Sportage’s rear passenger window. The two enter the Sportage and are seen driving away about 90 seconds later.
However, the Sportage’s owner was able to track the vehicle via his Apple AirPods, which were inside the car. At 10:30 p.m. the GPS indicated the AirPods were stationary in the 4400 block of West Monroe Street in Chicago.
Two Cook County Sheriff’s Police officers went to that location and reported observing a teenage boy standing next to the Sportage with an AirPod case attached to his pants. The boy reportedly fled the scene but returned a short time later and was detained by police.
He also had in his possession a PS Vita handheld videogame device, which also had been left behind in the stolen vehicle, according to police.
That theft was just one of several reported in the Landmark’s coverage area for a second straight week. The thefts of Kia and Hyundai model vehicles is apparently part a nationwide trend that developed over the summer in response to a viral TikTok video showing how to steal those models using a USB cord and a screwdriver.
Three vehicles in Brookfield – a Kia Soul in the 9500 block of Lincoln Avenue, a Kia Sorrento in the 3600 block of Blanchan Avenue and a Hyundai Santa Fe in 3800 block of Morton Avenue – had their rear passenger side windows shattered in apparent theft attempts during the overnight hours on Oct. 23-24.
Two of the three vehicles’ steering columns were damaged, according to the police reports.
On Oct. 24 at 7:35 p.m., two people reportedly stole a Kia Sportage from the lot at Zeigler Ford, 2100 Harlem Ave., North Riverside, by breaking out the rear passenger side window and driving out of the lot at a high rate of speed, accompanied by a white Hyundai Elantra.
The same white Hyundai Elantra reportedly was involved in the attempted theft of another Hyundai Elantra just minutes earlier outside of Urban Air, 7401 25th St., North Riverside, according to police.
On Oct. 29, meanwhile, someone stole a 2020 Hyundai Elantra from the parking lot of the North Riverside Park Mall. The victim told police her family parked the vehicle at about 10:40 p.m. and returned an hour later to find that the vehicle had been stolen. Glass littered the ground where the car had been parked.
Security video showed a dark vehicle pull next to the Hyundai at about 10:50 p.m. A man wearing a mask exits the vehicle and walks to the Hyundai which is seen driving away southbound through the east lot a short time later.