More carjackings reported in Wicker Park, Lakeview as March hijacking cases soar

It’s been almost two months since Lori Lightfoot blamed school closures during the pandemic for Chicago’s record-high carjacking rate.

Well, the kids are back in school, and the city is seeing a near-60% rise in hijackings compared to the same month last year. Year-to-date, Chicago saw just seven fewer hijackings this year as of March 22 compared to the same time in 2021. P.S. — Hijackings were already on the rise before COVID arrived.

Members of the Chicago area vehicular hijacking task force stop a driver in January 2022. | CPD

Since yesterday evening, two hijackings occurred in Wicker Park and another unfolded in Lakeview, where there were two more Monday night. This morning, a separate armed robbery in Bucktown did not end with a car being stolen, but the offenders did put a gun to the victim’s face while taking his wallet. Here are the latest details:

The first hijacking of the evening occurred on the 3700 block of North Marshfield in Lakeview around 6:55 p.m.

Two masked men approached the 28-year-old victim’s silver Honda Civic and one of them opened his door, said Kellie Bartoli, a CPD spokesperson. The hijacker pressed a gun to the man’s head and ordered him out. Both offenders then headed north in the victim’s car.

Bartoli said the suspects are two Black males between 16- and 20-years-old and 5’10” to 6’3″ tall. She said one wore a black hoodie, a puffy green coat, and a black face covering. The other wore a puffy black jacket, ripped jeans, and a face mask.

Then, around 8:20 p.m., two men who both displayed handguns took a 42-year-old man’s white Audi Q5 on the 1800 block of West Wabansia, police said. He had just parked and was still in the car when they approached and demanded his keys. The suspects were described as two Black males wearing dark clothing.

At 2:34 a.m. Wednesday, a 61-year-old man was outside on the 1600 block of North Marshfield in Bucktown when a white SUV rolled to a stop. A robber got out of the car’s passenger seat, approached the man, and pointed a TEC-9 style handgun at his face.

Bartoli said the offender took the victim’s wallet from his pocket and threw the man to the ground before returning to the SUV, which fled south on Marshfield. She said the victim was not reported injured.

The suspect is a male of an unknown race between 22- and 28-years-old who wore all black clothing and a black mask, Bartoli continued.

Finally, a Wicker Park woman was carjacked as she prepared to enter her car and head to work around 4:16 a.m. Wednesday.

The 27-year-old was near her silver Mazda CX-5 when two men confronted her and one displayed a handgun. He demanded her keys and drove away with the car. The other offender got into a white Audi SUV and followed the Mazda north, Bartoli said.

Police found the victim’s car abandoned on the 3400 block of West Carroll in Garfield Park.

Bartoli said the gunman was described as a Black male between 20- and 26-years-old who wore black clothing and a black ski mask. The second suspect was described only as a Black male.

Through March 22, there were 94 hijackings reported this year compared to 59 last year, 42 in 2020, and 21 in 2019, according to the city’s data portal.

For the year, there were 394 cases compared to 401 last year, 183 in 2020, and 100 in 2019.

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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