Driver hijacked in Old Town, two days after alderman falsely claimed carjackings are “significantly down”

A 47-year-old man was battered and carjacked in Old Town on Saturday evening, just two days after the local alderman falsely told constituents that carjacking incidents are “significantly down” in the city.

Police said the man was making a food delivery in the 1500 block of North Wells around 8:25 p.m. when the offender punched him in the back of the head, knocking him to the ground.

The hijacker jumped into the man’s red 2014 Mazda 3 and drove away southbound. He was later seen turning west on Chicago Avenue from Franklin, police said. The victim suffered minor injuries but declined medical attention.

Last Thursday evening, Ald. Michele Smith (43rd) said in an email newsletter, “carjacking is still a serious issue in our city, but numbers are significantly down since the carjacking task force was enlarged in March.”

In fact, carjackings are up significantly since March. There were 83 hijackings citywide in March, 98 in April, and 111 in May, according to city data. Combined, the three months had 292 cases, compared to 217 during the same months last year.

Carjacking reports have, however, declined from the mind-blowing pace seen late last year into January. There were 215 cases in January 2021 alone, records show.

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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