More carjackings reported as police promise crackdown: “The criminal justice system has to get serious about how they deal with some of these juveniles.”

Chicago Police Dep. Supt. Anthony Riccio and Near North Police Cmdr. Jill Stevens announce plans to counter a rise in carjackings. | Facebook

Two carjackers battered and carjacked a 72-year-old man on the city’s Northwest Side yesterday evening, just hours after Chicago police announced a new focus on reversing a 75% rise in vehicular hijackings this year.

And two more carjackings unfolded in River North on Thursday night, including one in which an offender fired a handgun. No one was shot, though.

At least three carjackings were reported on Wednesday evening — one in each in the Gold Coast, Fulton Market, and West Ridge neighborhoods. Cops initially thought Wednesday’s cases were related, but further investigation revealed that different crews were responsible for the heists, Interim Police Supt. Charlie Beck later announced.

“The criminal justice system has to get serious about how they deal with some of these juveniles,” CPD Dep. Supt. Anthony Riccio said on Friday. “A lot of what we see are the same crews doing it over and over again. So, we’re gonna have to definitely address the problem of juveniles and the crime that they’re committing.” 

Riccio made the remarks as he announced the reconstitution of a multi-agency carjacking task force. He said 117 vehicular hijackings had been reported in 2020 as of earlier this week, up from 67 during the same time in 2019.

“I can promise we will get to the bottom of it,” Riccio said.

The city saw 113 carjackings during the period in 2018 and 109 in 2017, according to city records.

“The jail sentences in the federal system are 85%,” Riccio said, while state offenders typically serve only 50% of their prison time. “A lot of times we find federal prosecution is much stiffer, much swifter.” 

But the federal system does not prosecute juveniles, according to Riccio.

Latest incidents

Police said two men grabbed a 72-year-old Northwest Side man, punched him in the face, and threw him to the ground during a carjacking on the 5900 block of North Sauganash around 6:55 p.m. on Friday.

The victim had just parked his car when the robbers attacked him and drove away with his silver Toyota Camry bearing California plates.

Police later located the car on the South Side and two juveniles were taken into custody, a CPD spokesperson said in Saturday afternoon.

Two carjackings were reported in just over an hour Thursday evening in the River North neighborhood.

A masked gunman got out of a black Dodge Challenger and tried to take a 28-year-old man’s 2015 BMW M5 on the 700 block of North Hudson around 9:45 p.m., police said. 

The offender fired one shot into the air when the victim initially refused to turn over his car keys, police said. The victim then complied.

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But there was another problem for the carjacker: He didn’t know how to drive a stick shift. So, he got out and ran back to the Dodge Challenger, which sped away westbound on Chicago Avenue.

Then, a group of carjackers in a dark brown Volvo intentionally bumped into a 2014 Jeep SRT at a stoplight near the Ontario feeder ramp around 11 p.m, police said.

Two masked men emerged from the Volvo and one of them pointed a handgun at the 42-year-old victim when he got out of his SUV to check for damage, according to police. 

The gunman got into the victim’s car and drove away while the other offender returned to the Volvo. Both cars were last seen heading onto the feeder ramp.

Near North Police District Cmdr. Jill Stevens said the entire incident was recorded by a nearby CPD camera.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com