A “bump-n-run” carjacking and auto theft crew has struck at least three times on the North Side and once in the West Loop since Sunday morning, according to CPD reports. But a source said the thieves are suspected of committing many more similar crimes across the city. Any driver who is tapped from behind by another car should exercise caution before getting out to exchange information.
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.