Thieves in van smash through Highland Park Village Chanel store

- Cops caught seven people who tried to steal high-end purses after crashing a van into the Chanel Store.

It happened around 6:30 a.m. Monday at the store in Highland Park Village on Mockingbird Lane and Preston Road.

Police said it appears the suspects first tried to use tools to break in. Then they used a maroon van to smash through a glass window.

An off-duty police officer who was working security saw the suspect load as many as 50 handbags into the van and another vehicle.

The officer chased the van and alerted police. But the pursuit didn’t go too far because two of the van’s tires blew out.

The suspects abandoned their vehicle and fled on foot. A police search was organized, both on the ground and from the air. Not too long after, all seven suspects -- including two juveniles -- were taken into custody in nearby University Park.

Police said the crime itself was especially brazen and appeared to be carefully planned out.

“We would agree this is a bold break in,” said Lance Koppa with the Highland Park Police Department. “It’s an extremely unusual and coordinated, well thought out crime.”

The suspects left most of the purses they stole a resident’s backyard. Police believe they’ve managed to recover them all.

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