2 in custody after West Town carjacking

Two people are in custody after armed men carjacked a driver in West Town overnight, according to preliminary information from police and Illinois State Police radio traffic.

Chicago police responded to a robbery on the 1100 block of North Rockwell around 1:54 a.m., a CPD spokesperson confirmed. But the incident case report was not finalized by mid-morning and the spokesperson could not access it.

The 1100 block of North Rockwell is seen on Google Street View. | Google

However, CWB Chicago has learned that two men wearing ski masks pulled up next to the victim in a car and got out with guns. They ordered the driver and passenger out of their Kia Optima, then drove away with an accomplice following in the other vehicle.

ISP troopers intercepted the Camry on the Dan Ryan Expressway within minutes.

According to ISP radio traffic, the driver of the hijacked car sped away from troopers and crashed at a gas station near the 87th Street Red Line station. Two people ran from the car, but police arrested them nearby. A trooper deployed a Tazer while detaining one hijacker, according to the radio transmissions.

Cops reportedly found two guns inside the stolen car.

CWB Chicago will post an update if prosecutors approve charges.

West Town, which includes neighborhoods like Wicker Park and Ukrainian Village, was the second-worst of the city’s 77 community areas for hijackings last year.

Things are a little better this year. The area had 25 hijackings through April 15, down from 33 during the same period in 2021. By comparison, there were 14 in 2020 and seven in 2019.

Citywide, 497 hijackings were reported through April 15 this year, up about 5% from last year’s record. The city had 231 hijackings as of mid-April 2020 and 136 during the period in 2019. Carjackings are also up 19% this month across Chicago compared to last April, with 62 cases through April 15th. That compares to 33 in 2020 and 26 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