“Bump-n-run” auto theft crew strikes again in Lakeview

A bump-n-run auto theft crew struck again in Lakeview on Friday morning, according to a CPD report, but they weren’t able to drive the victim’s car away.

It’s the latest in a series of similar auto thefts and attempts in the area this week. One of the earlier thefts took place just a block away from the scene of Friday’s incident.

A 34-year-old woman told police she was driving south on the 3100 block of Inner Lake Shore Drive when a black BMW tapped the rear bumper of her white Jaguar around 11:30 a.m. Friday. When she got out to check for damage, two young men jumped into her car and tried to drive away with it. But, for some reason, they couldn’t get the car to move. So, they bailed out and fled in the BMW.

Approximate locations of recent bump-n-run incidents. | Multiplottr

The woman was not injured. Witnesses told police they saw a couple of women recording the attempted auto theft as it happened, but the ladies were gone when officers arrived.

According to a CPD report, the people who tried to take the woman’s Jaguar were two Black males between 16- and 23-years-old. One had short braids. The other had an Afro hairstyle and wore navy pants with a bright red stripe on the side.

Police issued a warning about bump-n-run auto thefts on the North Side after several incidents were reported last Sunday and Monday, August 22 and 23.

Here’s how the crimes have been unfolding: The crew, using a stolen car, intentionally hits the back end of another car and then pulls over to exchange information. Between one and three men get out of the stolen car, and one of them may appear to hold “insurance information” to share with the other driver. But there will be no exchange of information. One or two of the thieves jumps into the victim’s car and drive away while the others leave in the vehicle they arrived in.

At 6:30 a.m. Sunday, the men were driving a white BMW when they bumped into a woman’s black Nissan on the 2000 block of West Montrose. When the woman got out to look at the damage, a man jumped from the BMW and drove south on Wolcott with her car, according to a CPD report.

Around 9:20 Sunday night, a woman was waiting to turn north on Lake Shore Drive at Belmont when a gray Chevy tapped the back end of her gray 2019 Audi A4, according to her husband.

“She got out to check damage and the offender sprinted past her and jumped in the car,” the man said in an email Monday morning. The Chevy veered around her and both cars headed south on the drive.

“She was returning from a weekend trip with her sister, so in addition to her iPhone, her MacBook, AirPods, and luggage were in the car. Luckily she wasn’t hurt. Most concerning was her driver’s license and house keys were in the car, so it was a long night. Currently awaiting locksmith to arrive,” the man said.

The crew struck two more times on Monday morning, according to preliminary information provided to CWBChicago.

Around 10:45 a.m., a woman was bumped from behind by a stolen black Mercedes SUV as she traveled north on Pine Grove at Irving Park Road in Lakeview. She successfully fought off the man who tried to steal her car, a report said. He was last seen heading toward the drive with two accomplices in the stolen SUV.

CPD license plate readers tracked the car through the Gold Coast and onto the expressway. And at 11:18 a.m., they struck again in the West Loop.

According to an initial report, a woman told police a black Mercedes bumped her white Land Rover from behind at Lake and Sangamon. When she got out, one of the occupants of the Mercedes pretended to have insurance information. The crew pushed her out of the way and drove away with her SUV, the report said. GPS tracking reportedly placed the stolen Land Rover in Englewood by 11:45 a.m.

Surveillance video shows the offenders in Monday’s Lakeview incident were three Black males: a driver who wore a surgical mask, a front passenger who wore all black, and a rear passenger who wore a red hat and black clothing. At least one of them has long dreadlocks. The victims have consistently said the men appear to be in their late teens to mid-20s.

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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 news@cwbchicago.com