At least four carjackings were reported Monday in the West Town community area, which includes neighborhoods like Wicker Park and Ukrainian Village. Charges have been filed in one of yesterday’s cases, and three are in custody for another. And one of the unsolved hijackings may be linked to an armed robbery early Tuesday in which a shot was fired.
Here’s what we know:
A 69-year-old woman was carjacked as she stepped out of her Hyundai Santa Fe on the 700 block of North Leavitt at 10:15 a.m., CPD spokesperson Kellie Bartoli said. The offender reportedly pushed the woman outside a restaurant and drove away with her SUV.
Another hijacking was reported nearby at 6:30 p.m. In that case, a 17-year-old boy punched a 48-year-old man in the face and stole his SUV on the 2000 block of West Chicago, according to police. The victim’s Golden Lab, which was in the car, was found safe around 9 p.m. near the 2400 block of West Lake Street.
Shortly after that, police spotted the stolen SUV in traffic near the 4300 block of West Haddon and arrested the 17-year-old. He is charged with felony vehicular hijacking, according to a CPD media statement. Police said he also had an active arrest warrant, but no further information about the nature of that case was available because he is a juvenile.
In Wicker Park, an armed man forced a 44-year-old woman from her car on the 1500 block of North Milwaukee around 8 p.m., police said. The woman was punched and thrown to the ground before the man drove away with her 2015 Lexus SUV, but she was not seriously injured, according to a CPD report.
Illinois State Police troopers found the vehicle traveling on an expressway and followed it to the first block of West 113th Street, where three women bailed out of it and ran, Chicago police said. All three were arrested. ISP later said they were all juveniles.
Then, around 11:25 p.m., two armed men displayed handguns and took a man’s 2015 Dodge Challenger at gunpoint near the corner of Ashland and Huron.
A similar vehicle was used in an armed robbery around 1:45 a.m. The victim told police two men confronted him, and one of them fired a shot as they took his bag and wallet on the 2100 block of West Potomac. He was not injured.
Since 2002, the first year for which records are publicly available, the West Town community area has seen 480 hijackings. But 20% of them have been in 2021.
West Town recorded 99 carjackings this year through the end of October, making it the second-worst spot for hijackings among the city’s 77 community areas.