BUCKTOWN — Police are investigating a string of at least four carjackings in Wicker Park and Bucktown.
The most recent carjackings happened early Thursday, police spokeswoman Kellie Bartoli said. Guns were used in both incidents.
Video of one incident shows the carjacker in a yellow sweatshirt holding what appears to be a gun.
In the first incident, a 22-year-old man was outside his parked black Jeep Grand Cherokee about 2:30 a.m. Thursday in the 2300 block of North Shakespeare Avenue when two men walked up to him. One man held a gun and demanded the victim’s keys, police said.
Later, about 7 a.m., a 34-year-old woman was outside her black Nissan hatchback in the 1700 block of North Winchester Avenue when she saw a man get out of a black Jeep. The man walked up to her and, while holding a gun, demanded the woman’s car keys and belongings, Bartoli said.
The victim told police she “dropped everything” and ran up a flight of stairs. She noticed a second man inside the black Jeep.
No one was in custody as of Thursday afternoon and detectives were investigating, Bartoli said. The second carjacking could be related to the first based on the description of the Jeep, she said.
The Shakespeare Avenue victim described the suspects as two Black men about 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-9. One man wore a yellow hooded sweatshirt and jeans and the other had dreadlocks and wore a dark beanie, the victim told police. In a video of the carjacking on Winchester, a man in a yellow hooded sweatshirt is seen running at the victim with what appears to be a gun.
About 9:50 p.m. Sunday, a group of five men — one of whom had a gun — stole a car from a 37-year-old man near the corner of Beach Avenue and Paulina Street, police said. No one was in custody as of Monday.
At 9:45 a.m. Monday, a 45-year-old woman was carjacked at gunpoint outside Wicker Park by a group of four men. Police arrested Isaac Johnson, 19, and were looking for the other suspects. The victim shared her account of what happened with Block Club.
It’s not yet clear if Thursday’s carjackings in Bucktown are related to the other two, Bartoli said.
If detectives determine a link, a community alert will be published, Bartoli said.
Steve Jensen, Bucktown Community Organization president, said the carjackings this week reminded him of a slew of carjackings that took place in the neighborhood October 2017.
“It seemed like it was every day, almost. … They were all teenagers, three or five in a car, looking for soft targets,” he said. “Carjacking is a very violent attack and there’s absolutely no reason that anyone anywhere should put up with that, and so we depend on our law enforcement professionals to make a difference in reducing or eliminating those acts of aggression.”
Police issued the following tips to potential carjacking victims:
- 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