Prosecutors: Uptown hijacking solved by Facebook carjacking victim message board

Dumareah Taylor | CPD

Facebook giveth and Facebook taketh away.

Don’t believe it? Just ask Dumareah Taylor.

Prosecutors on Wednesday said Taylor carjacked a man in Uptown last month while taking the victim’s Lexus on a test drive he arranged via Facebook Marketplace.

Then, police located Taylor after the victim shared details of the hijacking on a Facebook discussion group and another user recognized him.

It all started January 21 when the victim listed his 2004 Lexus RX300 for sale on the social media site. He was quickly contacted by an interested buyer. They exchanged contact information and arranged for a test drive the next day.

Prosecutors say the phone number that the prospective buyer used to arrange the fateful meeting belongs to Taylor.

Around 9 p.m. the next day, the victim met with the buyer outside Weiss Hospital in Uptown. It just so happens that hospitals have a lot of surveillance cameras, and Weiss’ security system recorded everything that happened, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Lorraine Scaduto.

The victim, age 35, met with Taylor, who was wearing some distinctive clothes, including red and black shoes with a black and gray cross-body satchel, she said. Taylor climbed behind the wheel and the victim got into the passenger seat as they set off for the test drive, Scaduto said.

CPD surveillance cameras allegedly captured clear images of Taylor behind the wheel and the victim in the passenger seat as they traveled down Wilson Avenue a few moments later. The police footage clearly shows Taylor’s red hat and distinctive cross-body bag, according to Scaduto.

As the men neared the 800 block of West Wilson, Taylor accused the victim of being a cop — which the victim denied — and then grabbed a gun out of his cross-body bag, Scaduto said. He allegedly pointed the gun at the victim’s head and ordered him out of the car. The vehicle’s owner complied.

The next day, the victim posted details about his experience and screenshots of the Facebook account that arranged for the test drive to a message board for carjacking victims. Another group member recognized Taylor and told the victim there was a Lexus that looks exactly like his sitting outside Taylor’s house in the Austin neighborhood, Scaduto said.

Police went to the area, staked out the Lexus, and arrested Taylor yesterday. Officers also executed a search warrant on his home and recovered a red hat, shoes, and cross-body bag that match items worn by the carjacker, according to Scaduto. The victim also identified Taylor in a line-up, she said.

Prosecutors charged Taylor with Class X aggravated vehicular hijacking with a firearm. He also has an active warrant in DuPage County for burglary.

Scaduto said he has a pending retail theft case in DuPage County as well juvenile adjudications for aggravated robbery, battery while carrying a knife, retail theft (twice), and battery (twice).

After hearing about how the victim managed to identify Taylor, Judge John Lyke declared, “Social media is undefeated!” He then ordered Taylor held without bail.

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About CWBChicago 6783 Articles
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