Chicago man carjacked Chevy during a test drive (and while on parole for 2 stolen car cases), prosecutors say

Taj Newson | Chicago Police Department

CHICAGO — A man who has been convicted of stolen cars three times, and who is on parole for two of those cases, is now accused of setting up a used car test drive so he could carjack the vehicle.

Taj Newson, 25, was detained to await trial on the new charges by Judge Charles Beach.

Prosecutors noted Newson’s history of auto theft in a detention petition for the “brazen hijacking attempt.”

They said Newson “set up a fake attempted purchase of a used car and then hijacked it during the test drive” on November 16. While driving the 2004 Chevy in the 4200 block of North Pulaski, Newson ordered the victim to get out, saying something to the effect of “I don’t want you to get hurt,” officials said.

The victim complied, then called 911.

CPD’s hijacking task force located the stolen Chevy about two hours later by using the city’s license plate reader network, according to Newson’s arrest report. Cops found the vehicle in traffic and pulled Newson over in the 3600 block of West Roosevelt.

He told the officers he was “testing [the car] for a client,” Judge Beach noted in a signed detention order.

Newson was paroled on February 24 after serving half of the two 3-year sentences he received for aiding or abetting the possession of stolen vehicles, according to Illinois Department of Corrections records. The state is now considering the revocation of his parole. Officials said he was convicted of possessing a stolen vehicle one other time. A judge handed him probation in that case.

He is now charged with vehicular hijacking, possessing a controlled substance, and driving on a suspended license.

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