Carjackings are up by over 100% in Chicago this year compared to 2019. That statistic didn’t get any prettier yesterday when cops handled at least five vehicular hijackings on the North Side and downtown.
Between 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, at least five drivers reported that carjackers tried to take their vehicles in River North, near Goose Island, West Town, Uptown, and Lincoln Square. The incidents came one day after police said a carjacking crew struck four times in about an hour Saturday around Wicker Park, Bucktown, and Avondale.
Sunday’s hijackings began around 2 o’clock at the intersection of North Avenue and Ashland Avenue in West Town. There, a woman told police that two masked men tried to force her from her car. But she sped away — and wound up crashing into a pole. The would-be carjackers ran to a vehicle that appeared to be waiting for them in a nearby alley. The woman was not seriously injured.
Then, a 28-year-old man told police that he was pistol-whipped in the face during an apparent carjacking attempt in the parking garage of Whole Foods, 1550 North Kingsbury. The man drove himself to Trinity Hospital for treatment. Two people who know the victim told CWBChicago that he works at the grocery store.
At almost the same time that the carjacking attempt took place, another man who works in the Whole Foods was shot in the leg while he took out some garbage. Police said the victim might have been shot by an errant bullet fired by an occupant of two vehicles that sped out of the grocery store’s parking garage. Investigators were trying to determine if the shooting and the reported carjacking attempt are connected.
In River North, police met with a woman who said four men tried to take her car near the intersection of State and Grand around 6:20 p.m. That hijacking attempt also failed, and the offenders ran into a nearby parking garage.
An hour later, two men tried to carjack a woman as she prepared to park her car on Argyle near Broadway in Uptown. She said the men implied they had a gun as they demanded her keys around 7:15 p.m. But she took off running and left them empty-handed.
Then, at about 7:30 p.m., carjackers took a man’s Ford Fusion, wallet, and phone in the 4500 block of North Hamilton in Lincoln Square, according to a police report. The victim was not injured.
Chicago police recorded 1,142 carjackings in the city through November 15 this year. That’s up from 507 cases during the same period in 2019.
Incidents have been soaring on the North Since early October, with the Town Hall Police District being especially hard-hit.