Gurnee police investigating worker's ride caught on dash-cam
Dashboard-camera video showing a Gurnee auto dealership employee driving nearly 100 mph in a customer's vehicle has led to an investigation by village police.
Police Cmdr. Brian Smith said Thursday officers learned the name of the mechanic who was behind the wheel of the vehicle that was in for service earlier this week at Gurnee Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram. Smith said the worker declined to answer the officers' questions Thursday.
The vehicle was in lawful possession of Gurnee Dodge while it was being driven, Smith said, adding that police have a copy of the video.
Drew and Christine Hovorka of Gurnee had brought their 2008 Dodge Caliber SRT to the dealership for 100,000-mile service last week. Drew Hovorka said it was out of curiosity Wednesday morning that he watched the 8½-minute dash-cam video that showed a joy ride while the car was in the dealerships' care.
Gurnee Dodge general manager Todd Thommes has not returned several messages seeking comment that have been left since Wednesday. He and dealership President Michael Fohrman were not at the business Thursday when a Daily Herald reporter visited, an employee said.
Dash-cam video dated Tuesday shows the Hovorkas' car being driven by the unidentified technician from the dealership's service area onto a side street, then west on Grand Avenue in Gurnee. The 2008 four-door hatchback then traveled north on Route 45, where the Garmin dash-cam indicated the speed reached 82 mph.
From Route 45, the vehicle was driven east on Stearns School Road in unincorporated Lake County, where the dash-cam showed a speed of 96 mph in a 50-mph zone.
Gurnee authorities plan to collaborate with Lake County sheriff's police to determine jurisdictional issues, Smith said. The sheriff's office covers Lake County's unincorporated areas.
Similar to other brands of dashboard cameras, the Garmin dash-cam in the Dodge Caliber SRT automatically activates when a vehicle is turned on. In addition to noting a vehicle's speed, it can record crashes or hard braking.
Christine Hovorka said the video will make her rethink where to bring the couple's car the next time it needs service.