Two suspects are in custody following a series of armed carjackings and robberies Wednesday evening across Bucktown, West Town, and the Loop. No injuries were reported, but police logged at least four hijackings and one armed robbery during the two-hour spree.
It all started on the 1400 block of West Hubbard around 4:45 p.m. That’s where a woman reported three men armed with a gun tried to take her car at gunpoint. They failed to get her car and fled in a white Kia Sportage that would later be used in the other crimes, according to a CPD report. A witness told police that the men tried to carjack another driver, too, but that effort also failed. The man did not file a police report.
At 5 p.m., the Kia, which was taken in an earlier carjacking, pulled in front of a driver at a stop sign and blocked her path in the 2000 block of West Moffat in Bucktown, according to police. Three men got out of the SUV, and one of them ordered the 51-year-old woman out of her 2019 Mercedes GLC 350, according to a CPD statement. Two hijackers fled in the Kia while the third drove away with the woman’s SUV.
Then, around 5:40 p.m., two men jumped out of a white SUV and tried to carjack a woman on the 300 block of North Hoyne in West Town, according to a police report. She ran into a nearby business to get help, and the offenders drove away.
The crew traveled to the Loop, where two men who jumped out of a white Mercedes SUV robbed a woman at gunpoint at the BP station, 50 West Ida B. Wells Drive around 6:25 p.m.
Afterward, they returned to Bucktown and carjacked a 44-year-old woman of her Volkswagen Atlas SUV on the 2000 block of North Damen around 6:45 p.m., according to a CPD report.
Police used various tactics, including CPD’s license plate reader and camera networks, to track the stolen Volkswagen across the city. Cops eventually closed in on the car in an East Garfield Park alley and took two suspects into custody.
Prosecutors this morning approved one count of aggravated vehicular hijacking with a firearm against a 16-year-old boy in connection with the Volkswagen carjacking, police said. Detectives are continuing to investigate the crimes and more charges may be forthcoming.
According to city records, Chicago logged 214 carjackings in January and another 125 in February, but the pace of hijackings slowed in March and April. Still, every month this year has seen significantly more carjackings than the same month in 2020.
There are signs that hijackings may be increasing again. CPD recorded 73 carjackings this month through last Wednesday. If that pace continues, the city will see 119 cases in May. That compares to 98 last month and 96 in May of last year, the city data showed.