The “Back Seat Bandits” are at it again. While many in Burbank were celebrating National Night Out, an anti-crime event, these thieves were up to no good.
Police were called shortly after 10 p.m. when the owner of a Chevolet Avalanche returned to their vehicle that was parked in the IKEA parking structure near the Chevy’s restaurant. To their surprise the thieves were inside the vehicle. Although the suspects fled before police arrived, the victim was able to get the license number of their getaway vehicle. The thieves had nearly removed the dashboard of the Avalanche. It was not immediately know if anything else was taken from the vehicle, which does not have third row seats, since it is also a pickup truck
Officers immediately began searching the streets in the area, and on both North and South on the Golden State Freeway. The suspects were driving a blue Chrysler minivan.
While police were at the scene of the first incident a second vehicle owner returned to their GMC Yukon Denali parked in the same parking structure. They found that thieves had made off with the third row seats. It is believed the same suspects may be responsible for both crimes.
At about the same time, police received a call that another GMC Yukon Denali had been broken into at the Empire Center. When the owner returned to the SUV that was parked near Payless Shoes, they found that the third row seats had been taken.
Police are continuing their investigation, and will be following up on the license plate information that the victim obtained.
There has been a rash of third seat thefts from high-end SUV’s over the past few years. Most thefts have occurred in parking structures, but some have even happened in the driveways of private homes. Some owners who do not use the rear seats have taken them out and stored them to avoid having them stolen. Others simply back into parking spaces to make it more difficult to open the rear hatch of the SUV.