17-year-old charged with carjacking woman in West Loop, but her beloved Shih Tzu is still missing

Bella (inset) and a video frame of the carjacking video. | Liliana Palacios; CPD

A 17-year-old is charged with carjacking and robbing a woman at a West Loop gas station, getting away with the victim’s beloved Shih Tzu puppy, which she received as a Mother’s Day gift. Chicago police announced charges in the September 3 carjacking today. Unfortunately, the puppy has not been found.

Liliana Palacios, 54, drove to the Shell station, 1160 West Van Buren, around 5:15 p.m. on September 3 to pick up a package from an Amazon locker. While she was getting her parcel, a man jumped into her Jeep’s driver’s seat just a few feet away. Palacio’s new pet, Bella, was in her carrier in the SUV’s back seat.

Video released by Chicago police shows what happened next:

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. 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.

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. “I don’t know what happened.”

Chicago police arrested the 17-year-old Friday in Belmont Cragin. He is charged with vehicular hijacking, robbery, aggravated battery, and unlawful restraint. Because he is a juvenile, no further information is available about him or his background.

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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