An Avondale couple that offered their car for sale on Facebook was carjacked at gunpoint by a man who showed up for a test drive, prosecutors said Thursday.
The hijacker showed up for an appointment at the couple’s home around 1 p.m. Saturday with a woman, and they agreed to go for a test drive. The husband sat in the back seat while his pregnant wife sat in the front passenger seat and the future carjacker took the wheel, Assistant State’s Attorney Sean Kelly said.
After driving a short distance, the hijacker asked to see the car’s title and then snatched it from the wife’s hands while displaying a handgun, Kelly continued. The hijacker took the couple’s phones and ordered the couple out of the car on the 3700 block of West George. He drove away with their car, followed by the other woman in a separate vehicle.
Police initially tracked the stolen phones to a home where Malik Shears lives, Kelly said.
The next day, Shears had the hijacked car’s title registered in his girlfriend’s name shortly before police pulled the vehicle over with the girlfriend driving and Shears in the passenger seat, said Kelly.
Prosecutors charged Shears, 21, with aggravated vehicular hijacking and armed robbery with a firearm. No charges were announced against his girlfriend.
Kelly said the husband could not identify Shears in a photo line-up, but his wife identified Shears as the hijacker. He said Shears, who has no criminal convictions, told police he paid $3,200 for the car.
Shears’ defense attorney said the case will be a “credibility question.”
Judge Kelly McCarthy denied a prosecution request to hold Shears without bail. Instead, she set bail at $150,000 and ordered him to go onto electronic monitoring upon posting a 10% deposit bond.
Hijackings during test drives are rare but not unheard of. Data compiled by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office shows slightly less than 1% of all hijackings in the county last year involved social media ruses.