A three-time felon who’s accused of battering and carjacking a food delivery driver on the North Side last weekend was accused of committing another carjacking on the same street last autumn, but prosecutors dropped the case two months later.
Deonta Sanchez, also known as Deinta Sanchez, was ordered held without bail during a bond hearing before Judge Arthur Willis on Friday afternoon.
Last August, a concerned citizen directed police to a suspicious vehicle in the Douglas neighborhood and told them that Sanchez had been driving it, according to CPD records. Cops ran the Dodge Dart’s license plate number and discovered it had been carjacked a few days earlier in Albany Park, the report said.
While officers were researching the car, Sanchez walked up to a nearby minivan and started shuffling through things in the driver’s seat, according to the report. Cops ran the minivan’s license plate and allegedly found that it, too, had been carjacked recently in Albany Park.
Sanchez ran when the officers tried to arrest him, police said. But he was caught and charged with vehicular hijacking and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Sanchez, who was on parole for aggravated DUI and escape at the time, was ordered held in lieu of $100,000 bail. But just two months later, on October 10, prosecutors dropped both charges, court records show.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office did not respond to an inquiry about that decision.
On Friday, 25-year-old Sanchez was back in bond court to face fresh charges of vehicular hijacking and battery.
Around 4:30 p.m. last Sunday, a 55-year-old delivery driver arrived on the 4500 block of North St. Louis with a food order. Sanchez and two women approached, and Sanchez gave him $20 for the order, which cost $40, Assistant State’s Attorney Brian Burkhardt said.
When the driver told Sanchez he needed another $20, Sanchez punched him in the back of the head, pushed him to the ground, and got into the driver’s seat of the man’s car, according to Burkhardt. The driver tried to get him out, but one of the women pulled the victim away as Sanchez drove off, Burkhardt said.
The women ran into a nearby building where a witness said one of them lives.
But Sanchez’s getaway was quickly foiled by one of Apple’s newest products: The driver had an AirTag affixed to the car, according to Burkhardt. Cops tracked the vehicle and trapped Sanchez when he turned down a dead-end street, Burkhardt said.
Sanchez “made admissions” after the victim identified him as the hijacker, according to Burkhardt.
A public defender said Sanchez is expecting his first child and works as an event planner.
In addition to the DUI, Sanchez’s criminal record includes a 2014 conviction for punching a woman in her face and robbing her and a 2013 threat to blow up a school with a bomb, according to Burkhardt.
The 2014 robbery, the 2013 bomb threat, both of last year’s carjackings, and the latest hijacking all occurred within a half-mile square section of Albany Park, according to CPD records.