Chicago — Two men carjacked a Roscoe Village woman at gunpoint after she parked in her garage on Thursday evening, Chicago police said.
A CPD spokesperson said the woman was getting out of her blue BMW X3 when a white Jeep pulled up in the 3400 block of North Leavitt around 9:30 p.m. Two hijackers got out of the Jeep, brandished a gun, and demanded the woman’s keys and other personal belongings.
According to police, they were last seen heading north in the alley, followed by the Jeep. The woman was unharmed.
Chicago police license plate readers spotted the hijacked BMW traveling outbound on the Eisenhower Expressway within minutes of the hijacking. So far, no arrests have been made.
While hijacking reports remain elevated compared to typical levels, there are signs that Chicago is backing away from the record-setting pace seen over the past two years. CPD recorded 88 hijackings during the first 24 days of November, the most recent date for which data is available.
That compares to 165 during the same days last year, 174 in 2020, 43 in 2019, and 48 in 2018.
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But, while carjackings are on the wane, traditional auto theft cases have risen sharply since the social media-fueled “Kia boy” phenomenon hit town this summer. “Kia boys” take advantage of a design flaw that allows them to steal Kias and Hyundai vehicles with little more than a USB cord.
Chicago police officers who have spoken with CWBChicago believe that people, particularly young Chicagoans, who want to take a car for joyrides or crime sprees are turning to Kia and Hyundai thefts instead of hijackings.
Stealing a car has at least two benefits over hijacking. Of course, it’s less confrontational and less risky.
But, even better from the thief’s point of view, traditional auto theft may go unnoticed for hours or even days before a police report is filed. But hijackings are reported almost immediately, and those cars are quickly entered into the city’s stolen car and license plate reader databases, giving them a considerably shorter shelf-life.