WICKER PARK — A mother dropping her son off Monday morning at a Wicker Park summer camp was carjacked by at least three men, including one with a gun, a daylight armed robbery that’s led to one arrest.
Investigators tracked the stolen Volvo SUV using its navigation system and arrested a man inside. The victim told Block Club she recognized him as the man who pointed a gun at her. He was charged Tuesday with a felony count of vehicular carjacking with a gun, police said.
The 45-year-old victim shared her account of what happened with Block Club. She requested anonymity as only one of the suspects has been arrested.
She said she parked her car on Damen Avenue near Wicker Park’s namesake park about 9:45 a.m. Monday. She locked it, walked her 6-year-old son inside and signed him into camp.
As she returned to her car, key fob in hand, she looked up and noticed two young men walking toward her. One man grabbed her while another yelled, “Give me your f—– keys.”
A third man — whom the woman later identified as Isaac Johnson — entered the car and pointed what looked like a large gun at the woman from underneath a piece of clothing. She said the gun was big enough he needed both hands to hold it.
“It was in broad daylight,” she said. “I have been in this neighborhood for 17 years and nothing has ever happened to me. The carjacking wasn’t even what was scary to me. It was the gun.”
The woman said she noticed a fourth man sitting inside a black SUV nearby. While he did not approach her during the incident, he appeared to be working with the group, though the woman said she couldn’t confirm that.
After the woman reported the carjacking, police soon found the car. Working with Volvo’s car tracking system, investigators located the car about 11 a.m., the woman said.
When police found the car, Johnson, 19, was inside, according to a police report. Johnson tried to run away, but police caught and arrested him, according to the police report. Police were looking for the three other suspects.
The car was returned to the victim, but the woman said her son’s cello was missing.
Johnson, of the 4100 block of West Roosevelt Road, appeared in bond court Tuesday.
It’s not clear whether Monday morning’s incident was related to another recent Wicker Park armed carjacking, which took place about 9:50 p.m. Sunday.
In that case, a group of five men — one of whom had a gun — stole a car from a 37-year-old man, according to a police report. No one was in custody as of Monday.
Carjacking safety tips from CPD:
- Call 911 immediately and provide a detailed description of any suspicious people, including any vehicle description and license plate information
- If confronted by suspects, attempt to remain calm
- Never pursue a fleeing suspect
- Be aware of your surroundings, especially when driving, parking or using a gas station