It’s good news, bad news for Lakeview today.
The good news is that police have charged a teenager in connection with a hijacking near Wrigley Field in December that was part of a weeks-long violent crime wave that swept the North Side.
The bad news is that another carjacking was reported Tuesday evening, the third in five days for the neighborhood.
First, the good news
CPD gang investigators arrested a 17-year-old boy on Tuesday morning to face charges for carjacking a driver at gunpoint on the 1000 block of West Addison on December 7.
The 46-year-old driver told police that two men took his car at gunpoint shortly after 9 p.m. At the same time, a woman stole another driver’s car on the same block, but no charges were filed in that case.
Police said the teen they arrested Tuesday was charged with aggravated vehicular hijacking with a firearm.
Investigators linked the case to dozens of other robberies that became increasingly violent. Two robbery victims were shot in separate hold-ups during one night in Boystown in late December. A member of the same crew shot a witness who saw them robbing a victim in Edgewater on January 14.
Prosecutors charged a 17-year-old boy last month with shooting the Edgewater witness, shooting one of the Boystown victims, and several other felonies.
Now, the bad news
Since last Thursday, three carjackings have been reported in Lakeview, including two near the Southport Corridor. The spike raises concerns a group of hijackers may be working the area again.
On Monday evening, a 49-year-old man was driving in the 1500 block of West Cornelia when a black SUV tapped his vehicle around 8:13 p.m., Officer Alex Aguas said. He stepped out of his car to look for damage and was confronted by three hijackers armed with handguns.
Aguas said the men took control of the victim’s gray Nissan Pathfinder and left the area with the black SUV tagging along.
About ten minutes later, a man reported that two males stepped out of a gray SUV and demanded his car keys on the 1200 block of West Diversey. But he reportedly fled into an apartment building, and the suspects left the area.
Police did not release descriptions of the offenders.
Monday’s hijacking was the second in recent days for the Southport Corridor area.
A woman was pistol-whipped and fell to the ground as she struggled with a carjacker in Lakeview last Thursday evening. Officer Jose Jara said it happened after the victim parked her car on the 1400 block of West Addison around 8:30 p.m.
She later told police that she noticed a man standing on the corner of Addison and Southport who walked up to her and demanded her car keys at gunpoint, Jara said.
She refused to comply and tried to kick the man, who then struck her on the forehead with the barrel of his gun, Jara continued. The hijacker drove away with the woman’s Subaru after she fell to the ground.
The offender got away with her car, which cops later found abandoned on the South Side. No arrests have been made.
On Sunday afternoon, a 26-year-old driver was pushed from behind while getting out of his running Honda CR-V on the 500 block of West Belmont, according to a CPD spokesperson. He fell to the ground, and the offender drove away with his car.
According to a CPD spokesperson, the suspect in the Belmont case is a man of unknown race between 21 and 26-years-old with dark, curly hair. He stands 5’9″ to 5’11” tall and weighs 160 to 180 pounds.
In Lakeview, carjacking reports doubled last year, to 30 cases from 15 in 2020. The area had six hijackings in 2019 but has already seen four this year.
In another dose of good news, total robbery reports in CPD’s Lakeview-based Town Hall (19th) District are down 51% through February 13 when compared to the same time last year, according to the police department’s latest statistical report. Carjackings are included in robbery statistics.
The city’s overall robbery performance is not improving, however. CPD’s latest stats show the category is up 5% through February 13 compared to last year.