Michael Horstman, executive director of the Illinois Optometric Association, said the thefts began last summer and are increasing. At times, the perpetrators have been so focused, Horstman said he almost suspects the thieves have "orders" for certain brands of design frames.
"I would think there's more to it than a couple of slugs taking designer lenses," Deputy Police Chief Joseph Bellino told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Optometrist Dan Lieberman said his store was targeted last summer.
"They smashed down the back door. They knew the lines they wanted," Lieberman told the newspaper. "They took the Gucci, the Lanvin. All the Prada was taken."
Kenneth Cole, Dolce and Gabbana, and Chanel lines are also among the thieves' favorites.