Chicago police detectives have released surveillance video of a carjacking in the West Loop last month in which a woman was dragged as the hijacker sped away with her car. You may remember the story because the victim, Liliana Palacios, sent out an appeal days later for help finding her 6-month-old Shih Tzu, Bella, who was in the SUV at the time of the hijacking.
The video shows the hijacker battling Palacios for more than a minute to take control of the vehicle at the Shell station, 1160 West Van Buren, around 5:15 p.m. on September 3. Watch:
Palacios placed Bella in her carrier and drove to the gas station to pick up a package from a drop-off locker. While she was getting her parcel, a man jumped into the Jeep’s driver’s seat just a few feet away.
Last month, Palacios told CWBChicago that she opened the passenger door and struggled with the man who kept yelling, “Give me the keys! Give me the keys!”
With her legs still hanging outside the car, the carjacker knocked her to the floorboard, and her keys fell out as he kicked her, she said. Then, a lengthy struggle ensued.
Once the hijacker secured the keys, Palacios climbed into the passenger seat as he sped away. The man stopped in an alley in the 300 block of South Ashland and let her get out. But he took off with the car before she could get Bella, who joined her family as a Mother’s Day gift in May.
Palacios ran toward a man who was taking out the garbage, “screaming at him for help,” she recalled. The good neighbor called the police.
She said police found her Jeep and pursued it on the expressways, but the hijacker bailed out. Bella and her carrier were no longer inside the vehicle when police found the car.
“That’s the worst part of the situation,” Palacios said of Bella’s disappearance. “They ran away, so I don’t know what happened” to Bella, she said.
Anyone with information about the crime can contact Area Three detectives at 312-744-8261 about case number JF-381903.