Armed hijackers took a woman’s car in Lakeview on Wednesday evening, then managed to slip away from police after ditching the car on the city’s West Side less than an hour later. No injuries were reported.
Police said two men displayed a handgun and demanded the woman’s valuables and her car as she stepped out of the 2014 Audi Q5 around 7:30 p.m. on the 3800 block of North Pine Grove. Witnesses quickly called 911 to report the hijacking in progress, but the offenders got away before cops arrived. Some people who saw the incident said accomplices might have followed the offenders in a white Volkswagen.
Officers used CPD’s license plate reader network and surveillance camera system to locate the stolen car as it traveled southbound on Lake Shore Drive near Oak Street. Ground units soon spotted the car in traffic in the Loop, according to police radio transmissions.
CPD’s helicopter tracked the stolen Audi until the occupants bailed out near the 4500 block of West Jackson. The crew slipped into a nearby building before cops closed in.
Area Three detectives are investigating the case.
Carjacking reports have slowed since the city experienced a sharp surge between November and January, but vehicular hijackings are still being recorded at a much higher pace than last year, according to city data. CPD logged 99 carjackings during April, a 55% increase compared to the same month last year.