Police are investigating an overnight armed carjacking near the Gold Coast. It’s the fourth hijacking or attempt in the neighborhood this month. One of the earlier armed hijackings unfolded on the same block where Gov. JB Pritzker lives.
Most recently, a 32-year-old man told police he had just entered his SUV on the first block of West Elm when two hijackers walked up around 3:25 a.m. today, said Kellie Bartoli, a CPD spokesperson.
Bartoli said that one of the carjackers brandished a handgun as the other got into the man’s car and grabbed his neck. The victim was able to get out of the vehicle, and the carjackers drove away with his gray Chevy Blazer, heading west on Elm, then south on Dearborn, according to Bartoli.
The man flagged down police to report the crime. Cops tracked the SUV via a GPS device as it traveled through the Loop before heading toward Midway Airport.
“They’re almost in jail,” one cop radioed as the stolen car pinged outside the Leighton Criminal Courthouse at 2650 South California Avenue. But, alas, the thieves did not stop to turn themselves in, and the vehicle was not reported recovered as of 5 a.m.
The carjackers were described as two Hispanic men wearing face coverings. One of them was heavy-set and wore a gray hoodie.
Almost exactly 24 hours before today’s carjacking, a suspected hijacking attempt turned into a car crash one block away.
Police responded to a call of an auto accident on the first block of West Maple around 3:10 a.m. Tuesday and discovered that two men approached a driver with guns drawn moments earlier. But the offenders’ car crashed into the victim’s vehicle, and the apparent carjackers ran from the scene, leaving the car they arrived in behind.
Officers detained one suspect nearby for questioning.
That was the second carjacking attempt at the same location this month. On September 4, a gunman emerged from a white Toyota Camry that blocked the path of a driver on the first block of West Maple around 5:30 a.m. The offender ordered the 37-year-old driver to hand over his valuables and get out of his gray Toyota RAV4. According to initial information, the hijacker was a Hispanic man who wore a black hoodie.
And on September 9, a man was carjacked at gunpoint on the 1400 block of North Astor Street, according to police records. CPD does not release the exact addresses of crime locations, so we took the incident’s GPS coordinates from the city crime database and plugged them into Google Maps. The result? 1425 North Astor Street, home of JB Pritzker.
The victim told police two men armed with a handgun took his white Toyota Highlander around 8:17 that night. They were accompanied by accomplices who followed them onto southbound Lake Shore Drive in a previously-hijacked Toyota sedan, according to CPD reports.
That victim flagged down police to report the hijacking. Fortunately, he is not the governor.