Buncich said the thieves stole items from train cars that were temporarily parked in rail yards in northwestern Indiana and in Bedford Park, Ill., just southwest of Chicago. He said those charged had known which cars to target.
"It's amazing how fast they can get into a freight car and steal the merchandise, mainly at night but sometimes even in the daytime," he said in announcing the arrests on Monday.
Those arrested are accused of stealing an estimated $2.5 million in pharmaceuticals, 18 automobiles and two motorcycles, along with computers and televisions. The group then allegedly sold the items around the Chicago area, the Post-Tribune of Merrillville and The Times of Munster reported.
James Haskell, a CSX Railroad crime investigators, said sometimes thieves would break into cars of trains that stopped for signal delays, derailments or construction.
Those arrested are all from northwestern Indiana and face charges including auto theft, possessing stolen firearms and resisting arrest.