An unmarked Robbins police squad car stolen Wednesday outside a McDonald’s in south suburban Midlothian may have been involved in a crash on the Bishop Ford Freeway.
A Robbins police officer left the unmarked silver 2000 Chevrolet Impala running about 10:45 a.m. while he ran in to buy lunch at the restaurant at 14601 S. Pulaski Road, according to Robbins spokesman Sean Howard.
While the officer was inside, two females got in and drove off, Howard said.
The vehicle may have been involved in a crash on northbound I-94 near 115th Street, Howard said.
Illinois State Police said the crash occurred at 1:03 p.m. in the northbound lanes of I-94 near 115th Street. It was not immediately clear whether anyone was injured.
Howard said the car rear-ended another vehicle before three people got out and ran away. Robbins police were notified that the car involved may have been the stolen squad car, and a commander is on his way to the scene to confirm those reports.
Howard said it is “pretty standard” procedure for officers to leave vehicles running while entering an establishment to buy food in case they need to quickly return to the vehicle and drive away in the event of an emergency.
Investigators do not believe the suspects were aware they were taking a police car, according to Howard. He said the car is “totally unmarked” and has no lights, siren, police computer, weapons or badge inside.
“There’s nothing inside the car that would indicate that it’s a police vehicle,” Howard said.
The theft was recorded on security cameras at the McDonald’s and police are reviewing the video, Howard said.