Loop hijacker also carjacked a driver outside Gov. Pritzker’s Gold Coast mansion, officials say

A South Loop man who carjacked a Lyft driver at gunpoint in the Loop on Saturday is also responsible for hijacking a driver outside Gov. JB Pritzker’s Gold Coast mansion last year, according to police and prosecutors.

Judge Susana Ortiz held 18-year-old Noah Ransom without bail during a court hearing Sunday.

Noah Ransom and Gov. JB Pritzker’s mansion on the 1400 block of North Astor Street. | CPD; Google

Around 4 a.m. Saturday, Ransom and four others got into a Lyft driver’s Lexus SUV after ordering a pick-up near the Embassy Suites hotel, 600 North State, Assistant State’s Attorney Lindsey Patton said.

As the car traveled south on Michigan Avenue near Millennium Park, Ransom, seated in the front passenger seat, took a gun from someone in the back seat and ordered the driver out, Patton continued.

The 34-year-old victim pulled over in front of the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, 12 South Michigan. Ransom allegedly slid into the driver’s seat and sped away. CPD surveillance cameras recorded the driver being forced from the car.

Illinois State Police troopers spotted the stolen SUV on the Dan Ryan Expressway and engaged in a lengthy pursuit that reached speeds over 120 MPH until they forced it to stop around 6:10 a.m. near Jackson and Aberdeen in the West Loop.

ISP, CPD, and UIC police officers took the car’s occupants into custody. Ransom was driving the car and police found a loaded handgun with an extended magazine lying on the ground outside the driver’s door that he fled from, Patton said.

The Lyft driver identified Ransom in a photo line-up, Patton said.

Vernon Gipson and Dallas Johns, Jr, both 18, and three 17-year-old juveniles are charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass to vehicle, according to police.

CPD subsequently identified Ransom as the hijacker who took a 41-year-old man’s car at gunpoint on the 1400 block of North Astor on September 9, 2021.

Patton did not provide details of that hijacking, but CWB Chicago reported last year that the victim told police two men armed with a handgun took his white Toyota Highlander around 8:17 that night. Accomplices in a previously hijacked Toyota sedan followed the stolen Highlander from the scene, according to CPD reports.

CPD did not release the exact addresses of Astor Street hijacking. But GPS coordinates associated with the crime in the city’s database come back to the home of Gov. JB Pritzker, we reported.

Prosecutors charged Ransom with aggravated vehicular hijacking with a firearm, aggravated vehicular hijacking with a weapon, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, aggravated fleeing, and resisting.

Patton said he has three juvenile arrests, one for felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle, and two for misdemeanor criminal trespass to vehicles. The status of those cases was not available on Sunday, she said.

Ransom’s private defense attorney, Bill Stanton, said he is a high school senior who also works at the United Center. Stanton said Ransom has mental health concerns.

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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