Juveniles suspected in Rock Island County string of car thefts

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ROCK ISLAND COUNTY, Ill. (KWQC) - Juvenile car thieves struck another neighborhood Thursday night, this time in rural Rock Island County. Police say up to six cars were stolen. Four have been recovered.

Late Thursday night in Ebert's Addition, one longtime resident awoke to noise in the garage.

"About five after one, our dog started barking in bed with us, and I thought she was barking for a raccoon, but then I heard something in the garage," said this victim of car theft.

She asked not to be identified by TV-6 Investigates because of the embarrassment. Her van was stolen from inside the garage.

"I jumped out of bed, grabbed my robe, ran out the front door, and I could see my van being driven south down 6th street," said the victim.

"Pure stupidity, I left the keys on the console," said the victim.

A neighbor's security system captured some of the thefts. The video showed a group of kids swarming the cars in the driveway. They ultimately stole a Cadillac and five other cars.

"When the police arrived, we found out we were not the only victims, there were a couple of others that had their cars stolen," said the victim.

In this particular neighborhood the neighbors trust each other. Some have been long time residents, there's no streetlights, it's dark at night, people watch out for each other. But the police say its the same M.O. for these juvenile car thieves, cars that are unlocked with the keys inside, are the ones that get stolen.

"There's no thefts out here, it's a very quiet neighborhood, we're all very close neighbors," said the victim.

The kids ran into mailboxes, drove through flower beds, and left a trail of debris.

"There was debris all over the road, owners manuals for different cars, identification cards, insurance, registration cards, a GPS tracking system was laying in the middle of the road," said the victim.

The Cadillac ended up in a driveway near the neighborhood's entrance. The group dumped it and stole a Kia. That cars owner described it as alien green with drawings of the Centennial bridge and fireworks on it. She's not sure why any kid would have grabbed it.

Rock Island County detectives spent Friday collecting fingerprints and gathering other evidence. The sheriff's office urges all Quad Citians to lock your cars, lock your garages, and take your keys inside your homes.