Federal helicopter, Chicago cops team up to catch 16-year-old carjacker in minutes

Chicago police officers and a federal law enforcement helicopter teamed up to arrest a 16-year-old carjacking suspect moments after the teen allegedly hijacked a 67-year-old man’s BMW on the North Side yesterday evening.

The victim had just parked his car and was walking in the 6000 block of North Campbell when two offenders confronted him with a handgun around 8:07 p.m., according to a Chicago police report.

The report said that one of the robbers pistol-whipped the victim, then pointed the gun at the man’s face. After getting the man’s keys, wallet, and phone, the robbers drove away in his BMW X5. EMS took the victim to St. Francis Hospital for treatment.

This Customs and Border Patrol helicopter is frequently used in anti-carjacking efforts around Chicago. | FlightAware

Chicago police immediately began tracking the stolen car’s license plate as it headed south on Lake Shore Drive, then east on Wacker Drive, according to CPD radio transmissions.

Within minutes, a high-tech helicopter operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security located the BMW from overhead. Ground officers arrested the BMW’s driver after the car stopped in the 2400 block of West Lexington around 8:33 p.m.

Police said he is a 16-year-old boy, now charged with aggravated vehicular hijacking of a person over 60 years old.

In a radio transmission to ground units, the federal officers said they did not see anyone else emerge from the BMW.

The helicopter, operated by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, partners with Chicago police, Illinois State Police, and the Cook County sheriff’s office to conduct anti-carjacking surges a few nights each month. Tuesday just happened to be one of those nights.

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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