CPD deputy chief orders tactical teams to fight carjacking by pumping gas up to an hour a day

A Chicago Police Department deputy chief is ordering cops in his districts to combat carjackings by — wait for it — having their tactical teams pump gas for senior citizens.

Meanwhile, at least two armed carjackings were reported between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. tonight.

At 5:20 p.m., an armed man ordered a woman out of her black Mercedes as she waited for a parking spot to open up on a residential driveway in the 600 block of West Irving Park, according to a CPD spokesperson.

The hijacker then swiped a wall and headed onto southbound Lake Shore Drive. A police license plate reader detected the car on the drive at Chicago Avenue a few minutes later. CPD did not release a description of the offender.

Then, around 6:45 p.m., a woman was carjacked of her black 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan in the 900 block of North Rockwell. She told police the hijackers were two Black males in their mid-teens who wore black hats, black hoodies, and blue jeans. One of them displayed a handgun.

A CPD deputy chief orders tactical teams under his command to pump gas for seniors as an anti-carjacking tactic. | Provided

Also Tuesday night, an email surfaced in which CPD Deputy Chief Ernest Cato, the head of patrol for the department’s West Side districts, ordered tactical units under his command “bring some security to motorist (sic) during this crisis of vehicular hijacking.” by pumping gas for senior citizens.

“Each district should assign two tact cars to a gas station for 30 minutes to one hour and pump gas for senior citizens,” Cato wrote.

Tactical teams usually spend their time responding quickly to violent and in-progress crimes. They also plan and execute strategies to battle crime patterns like carjackings — although pumping gas is not a tactic they’re known to use.

According to CPD data, Chicago recorded 218 carjackings in January — but only nine of those took place at gas stations. And only 86 of last year’s 1,416 carjackings unfolded at service stations, records show.

Last month, CWBChicago reported that juveniles accused of carjacking, auto theft, and criminal trespass to vehicles were being “punished” by being forced to watch videos during so-called “station adjustments.”

Free snacks are provided for each session.

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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