CHICAGO — A North Side alderman is warning his constituents about a “recent string of carjackings” at a Lincoln Park gas station.
“If you shop at the Costco located at 2746 N Clybourn Ave, please be aware that there has been a recent string of carjackings taking place at that location when customers have gone to the gas station in the Costco parking lot,” Ald. Bennett Lawson said in his weekly newsletter Friday.
“The Chicago Police Department recommends—no matter what gas station you stop at—to turn off your vehicle, remove your keys and keep them on your person, and lock your vehicle,” the alderman continued. “Many instances of carjacking at this Costco location and other gas stations have taken place when keys have been left in the vehicle. Please continue to remain safe and vigilant!”
CPD’s online crime incident database shows no carjackings on the 2700 block of North Clybourn in the past 20 years. However, the city embargoes crime incident information for seven days, meaning any hijackings since last weekend would not be listed.
The database shows five auto thefts on the block this year: two in October and one each in June, September, and November. Before this year, the most recent auto theft on the block was in March 2021.
Carjackings involve the taking of a vehicle through force or the threat of force, whereas auto thefts do not include the endangerment of the victim.
An Uber driver contacted CWBChicago directly in October after a Costco attendant warned him about thefts.
“He told me a group in a black BMW came at 4 p.m. [October 17] and a guy got out in a hoodie and face mask and stole a car as a woman pumped the gas, she had left her keys in the car.”
“He told me the same group attempted [October 19] but were unsuccessful, and that they also went to Oakbrook to try it there in between,” the man continued. “They didn’t pull into the gas line area, and the cameras didn’t pick up the plates. Very brazen.”
Residents noticed some changes at Costco after an auto theft on November 9.
“I noticed 2-3 security guards with large revolvers walking all around the cars pumping gas and in line,” a woman wrote on Nextdoor.
She said a “wonderful” Costco employee “told me to go back to my car, close the door and lock [the] car while I pumped gas. She said two cars were stolen this week while people pumped gas with unlocked cars.”
“The criminals came through the shrubs that line Clybourn at the gas station,” the woman continued. “She recommended when getting fuel use pumps 2,3,4,5 so that you are not on the end where it is easy to steal cars.”