Skip to contents
Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Avondale

After 73-Year-Old Man Carjacked At Gunpoint, Frustrated Logan Square Residents Say Something Must Be Done About Crime

One resident said he spoke to 14th District officers about slow response times and was told, "We can't send anybody because we don't have anybody to send." "That's shocking and disturbing," he said.

Steve Niketopoulos holds signs as roughly 40 residents joined Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) and the 14th Police District for a safety walk through Wicker Park in light of an uptick in crime on Oct. 19, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
  • Credibility:

LOGAN SQUARE — Police are warning Logan Square and Avondale residents to be on high alert after a string of armed carjackings this week, including one in which a 73-year-old man was attacked in the early evening as he was loading up his car.

In the wake of the carjacking, the man’s daughter and several neighbors are calling on local aldermen and police to come up with a plan to keep residents safe.

“It’s disturbing on so many levels, and it’s obviously scary on a personal level,” said Will, a neighbor who declined to provide his last name for safety reasons. “We have a lot of families on this block, and this is not the first gun-related incident we’ve had this year.”

In a community alert issued Monday, police said the Logan Square and Avondale area has seen at least four carjackings since Sunday. All of the incidents involved at least two men, police said. In each incident, the men took out a gun, demanded the victim’s car and then drove away.

The incidents happened:

  • 7:55 a.m. Saturday in the 2800 block of North Troy Street.
  • 5 a.m. Sunday in the 3300 block of West Belmont Avenue.
  • 7:56 p.m. Sunday in the 2700 block of North Mozart Street.
  • 5:10 a.m. Monday in the 3200 block of West Belmont Avenue.

A 73-year-old man was forced out of his car at gunpoint and roughed up in the Mozart Street attack, the man’s daughter said.

The man’s daughter, who asked to remain anonymous for safety reasons, said her dad, who was visiting from Florida, was in front of her house loading up his 2011 Jeep Cherokee with his two small dogs when he was attacked. One man held up a gun to the car’s windshield and a second man held up a gun to her father’s head, demanding his phone, keys and wallet. A third man was waiting in a car nearby, she said.

The woman’s dad begged the attackers not to take his dogs, so they dumped the pets in the middle of the road and drove off with his phone, she said. He wasn’t injured.

Once the rest of the family found out what happened, they called 911. But the man’s daughter said police didn’t show up for at least 45 minutes, which made an already traumatic experience much more stressful. Police spokesman Steve Rusanov said he “couldn’t confirm” officers were late to the scene.

The man’s daughter said her dad, who declined to be interviewed by a Block Club reporter, is fuming over the slow police response time.

“He was very sad last night. He was crying. Today, he’s angry, very angry,” she said.

This is the second time in recent months the 14th Police District has fallen short of expectations in regards to response time — and some neighbors are fed up. In October, an intruder broke into a family’s home, also on Mozart Street in Logan Square, and police never showed up because of a 911 dispatcher error.

Will, who lives near the woman whose dad was attacked, said there needs to be a greater police presence in the 2700 block of North Mozart Street. The block, in addition to a home invasion and carjacking, has seen other violent crime in recent months, including one shooting in which a bullet went flying through a family’s dining room.

“I spoke at length to two sergeants last night and they were like, ‘We can’t send anybody because we don’t have anybody to send.’ That’s shocking and disturbing,” he said. “If crimes are going unchecked, there’s no reason for criminals not to commit crimes. There’s no deterrent.”

Asked if the 14th District is under-staffed, Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd), who represents the area where the crime occurred, said the district is “overwhelmed” with calls.

On Sunday night, when the man was attacked on Mozart Street, police “were taking multiple calls [for] fights, stolen cars, domestic violence … and from what I could tell were going as fast as they could,” Waguespack said in an email.

In the 14th District, which also covers Bucktown and Wicker Park, all crimes except for murders and burglaries are up this year over last year, according to police statistics. Robberies, which include carjackings, have increased 30 percent. Neighbors in Wicker Park and Bucktown are also sounding the alarm over a spate of carjackings in their area.

Waguespack said he’s demanded the Police Department allocate more officers to the 14th District, but the decision lies with police leaders. The alderman also said he’s working with the district on finding a good location for a police POD camera in the Logan Square area.

Frustrated Mozart Street neighbors are meeting soon to discuss forming a neighborhood watch and to push Waguespack and police for solutions to the increase in crime.

“We shouldn’t have to take this into our hands, but we haven’t had any success so far,” Will said.

The man’s daughter said 14th District officers aren’t to blame for what has become a common story in Chicago: surging violent crime in neighborhoods.

Even so, her family is struggling to make sense of the attack. Asked if her family is considering leaving Logan Square after the carjacking, the man’s daughter got emotional. Her home has been in her family for more than 40 years.

“There’s a part of me that [feels like] this is my home, this is my neighborhood, and I will rally together with people. But then there’s a part of me that says, ‘I’m a mom. I’ve got kids.’ I don’t know is the answer. I don’t know,” she said.

Subscribe to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation. 

Thanks for subscribing to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods. Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation.

Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast” here: