Chicago police arrested five people and recovered three stolen cars, two of which were taken in armed hijackings, after a passerby called 911 to report suspicious behavior in a Target store parking garage in Rogers Park on Thursday afternoon. Charges are pending against the suspects who have also been linked to a series of violent crimes, including the shooting of a restaurant owner in Bucktown last month.
Police responded to the store at 6422 North Sheridan around 4:45 p.m. after a passerby reported seeing a group of teenagers hanging out by an SUV and a Porsche Cayenne in the garage’s lower level. The 911 caller reportedly said they thought the group was trying to steal a car.
Cops arrived quickly and blocked the garage exits. They detained some suspects in the garage while others were caught after being chased onto the Loyola University campus.
The Porsche was taken in a violent carjacking Wednesday in the North Park neighborhood. The other SUV, a Hyundai Tuscon, was taken at gunpoint from a Lakeview woman less than an hour earlier, according to a CPD report. A third car at the scene was stolen in Wilmette.
At least two of the suspects are adults, but there is conflicting information about the others’ ages.
A CPD spokesperson said only that police are “questioning multiple people of interest at this time, charges are pending.”
The crew is also suspected of trying to carjack another woman in Lakeview about 45 minutes before they were arrested: Shortly before 4 p.m., three or four men attempted to carjack a woman at gunpoint near the intersection of Sheffield and Sheridan in Lakeview. According to preliminary information, the hijacking failed, and the men fled in a Porsche Cayenne and another SUV.
About five minutes later, three men confronted a woman in her car on the 700 block of West Briar, Officer Michelle Tannehill said. One of the men displayed a gun and demanded the woman’s property before all three fled in her Hyundai Tucson.
Police have determined the Porsche that fled from the Sheffield and Sheridan hijacking attempt was taken in a violent carjacking on the 3200 block of West Foster around 10:17 p.m. Wednesday.
Two men armed with guns confronted a 27-year-old man as he got out of the tan sports car and ordered him to hand over all of his property, police said in a media statement. He gave them his cash and phone. But that wasn’t enough.
One of the hijackers then struck the victim in his head with a handgun before they climbed into the Porsche and drove away. EMS took the victim to Swedish Hospital in good condition, police said.
About 15 minutes later, two men entered the 7-Eleven store at 2010 North Damen and put a gun to the cashier’s head. They robbed the store, and one of the offenders hit the victim in the head with what appeared to be a long pistol, according to a CPD report.
Just before 4 p.m. Thursday — literally as the Lakeview incidents began to unfold — CPD issued a community alert linking the Porsche hijacking and the 7-Eleven robbery to two violent crimes in Bucktown on December 22.
At 12:03 p.m., two armed men confronted a woman on the 1800 block of North Wolcott and went through her pockets to take her valuables.
Just seven minutes later, John Ross, co-owner of The Bristol, 2152 North Damen, was shot by two men who tried to carjack him as he walked to his vehicle from the restaurant’s back door.
Ross suffered a gunshot wound to his leg, and the offenders fled the scene without taking his car.
CWBChicago will post updates when charges are announced.