Chicago police located another hijacked vehicle less than two hours after it was taken at gunpoint by three offenders Friday evening on the North Side. They arrested the 18-year-old driver and two juvenile passengers. But only one of them, a 17-year-old girl, is charged with carjacking.
The scenario is similar to another case last week in which cops arrested five people who were with two hijacked SUVs and a third stolen car inside a Rogers Park garage, but prosecutors only filed one felony charge — and it wasn’t for carjacking.
In the latest case, a 43-year-old man was sitting in his SUV on the 4200 block of North Pulaski when three male offenders approached him and one demanded control of the vehicle at gunpoint, according to a CPD spokesperson.
He complied and the group drove away with his truck around 9:45 p.m.
Less than two hours later, around 11:29 p.m., CPD’s hijacking task force located the stolen vehicle near the 3100 block of West Foster. They coordinated with OnStar, General Motors’ security service, which forced the truck to shut down as it entered a McDonald’s parking lot, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Mahoney.
The driver, 18-year-old Hader Garcia, was charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle, Judge Maryam Ahmad released him on his own recognizance Sunday. She ordered him to stay in the house between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Prosecutors charged the girl, who was riding in the front passenger seat, with felony vehicular hijacking and criminal trespass to the vehicle. A source said she was the only one that the victim could identify as being involved in the carjacking.
The rear seat passenger, a 16-year-old boy, has been arrested three times since October, according to a second source: once for illegal gun possession, once for criminal trespass to a vehicle, and, now, again for criminal trespass to a vehicle.
Chicago police have said that they have difficulty getting hijacking charges approved because many carjacking victims are unable to specifically identify the people who are found driving and riding in their stolen cars as the people who took the vehicle from them.
CPD claims it made 1,421 “carjacking related” arrests last year, but only 313 of those arrests resulted in vehicular hijacking charges.
Note: This story has been corrected to reflect that vehicular hijacking charges were filed against one of the juvenile passengers.