85-year-old woman carjacked at gunpoint on Northwest Side

CHICAGO — An 85-year-old woman was carjacked at gunpoint Friday morning on the Northwest Side, Chicago police said. It happened a few minutes after 6 a.m. as the victim was parking outside Scammon Elementary School, 4201 West Henderson.

The woman told police a man pointed a gun at her and demanded her keys. She complied, and he drove away with her white 2020 Acura sedan. She was not injured.

Chicago police did not release a description of the suspect.

Earlier this week, Chicago police warned about an armed crew that committed seven carjackings between late Monday night and Tuesday evening. CPD linked the group to crimes stretching from Rogers Park to Lincoln Park to West Town.

Nonetheless, carjacking reports citywide are down 29% so far this year compared to last year’s record pace, according to CPD’s data. But the number of incidents remains well above levels seen before hijackings began to surge in 2020. Some recent year-to-date totals, according to CPD:

Year to date as of April 20
2018: 232
2019: 143
2020: 241
2021: 497
2022: 518
2023: 370

April through April 20
2018: 35
2019: 33
2020: 43
2021: 74
2022: 84
2023: 59

Chicago’s carjacking pace began to fade last summer as the “Kia Boys” phenomenon emerged. Starting in June 2022, videos began circulating online that showed how some models of Kia and Hyundai vehicles could be operated by using a USB plug instead of a key.

The impact was immediate. Last July, shortly after the craze began, thefts of Kias and Hyundais soared 767% in Cook County, the sheriff’s office said. By year’s end, 10% of all Kias and 7% of all Hyundais registered in Chicago had been stolen, according to Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul.

The incredible surge in auto thefts continues to this day, with 9,218 cars stolen so far this year as of Monday, according to CPD’s latest statistical report. That’s up 135% from last year and 244% compared to 2019.

Last week, Raoul joined 17 other states to call on a federal recall of affected Hyundais and Kias manufactured between 2011 and 2022.

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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