Carjackers emerged from Menards shopping cart corral, report says; 3 in custody

A group of hijackers emerged from a shopping cart corral to carjack a woman on the parking lot of a Menards store in Lincoln Park on Sunday evening, according to a CPD report. Police recovered the stolen car and arrested three suspects less than an hour later. Charges are pending. Meanwhile, carjackings were reported overnight in North Center and Logan Square.

The not-OK corral

Three hijackers who hid in a shopping cart corral snuck up on a 56-year-old woman as she sat in her SUV on Menards parking lot, 2601 North Clybourn, around 6:43 p.m. Sunday, a CPD report said.
Police said one of the hijackers pointed a gun at the woman and ordered her out of her BMW. She complied and the group drove away with the car.

Three hijackers reportedly hid inside a shopping cart corral like the one seen here on the parking lot of Menards, 2601 North Clybourn. | Google

Illinois State Police pulled the car over about 15 minutes later near the Dan Ryan and 87th Street, police said. Officers arrested three people who ran from the vehicle, a man, a woman, and a juvenile male, according to CPD.

On Monday morning, Chicago police announced that a 16-year-old boy is charged with aggravated vehicular hijacking and resisting police in connection with the incident. CPD did not announce any charges against the adults. CWB Chicago will post an updated story if additional charges are filed.

Overnight hijackings

Police are investigating at least two hijackings reported early Monday.

In North Center, three men wearing ski masks each displayed firearms and ordered a driver to get out of his car on the 3900 block of North Damen around 3:18 a.m., a CPD spokesperson said. The victim, a 25-year-old man, complied and one of the offenders drove away with his gray Toyota Corolla.

Police said the other two hijackers got into a dark sedan and a dark SUV and followed the Corolla west on Irving Park Road. CPD did not release descriptions of the suspects.

Earlier, two men carjacked a 65-year-old driver on the 2100 block of North Maplewood in Logan Square. The victim told police that two offenders displayed handguns after stepping out of a dark-colored vehicle around 2:05 a.m. They took his silver 2020 Hyundai Elantra.

CPD took 251 carjacking reports between January 1 and February 19. That’s down from 302 reports during the same period last year. But it is still more than 100% higher than the 120 cases logged during the period in 2020 and far higher than the 69 reports taken in 2019.

Police took slightly more carjacking reports during the first 19 days of February this year than last year — 92 vs. 85. By comparison, the city had 47 carjackings during the first 19 days of February 2020 and only 20 during the period in 2019.

Rogers Park pattern

Investigators believe two men are responsible for at least two recent hijackings in the Rogers Park neighborhood.

Last Tuesday, two men displayed a handgun and took a woman’s car on the 7700 block of North East Lake Terrace, a police report said. Police found the vehicle a few minutes later in a parking lot in the 7600 block of North Sheridan and returned it to the victim.

The victim described the hijackers as two Black men in their 20s, one of whom wore unlaced white basketball shoes. That detail about unlaced white high tops matches one of the two suspects who hijacked a Loyola University employee on February 18.

In that case, two men pulled out a gun and struck the 61-year-old woman in the head on the 6400 block of North Sheridan around 4 a.m., according to a CPD spokesperson. They robbed the woman, then drove away with her blue and green 2017 Nissan Versa.

Bad luck in River North

Perhaps the saddest carjacking tale of the past week comes from River North. Early the last Monday, three men took another man’s car keys on the corner of State and Grand. He called the police and filed a report. Then, he arranged to have his vehicle towed.

While he waited for the tow truck, the three men returned.

They pulled him out of his car and drove away with it, a CPD spokesperson said. The blue Audi Q7 was last seen heading west on Grand around 5:10 a.m.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com