As the city of Chicago grapples with a surge in violent crime, two victims of recent carjackings are sharing their stories as a warning to others.
"When I was running across the yard, I was actively thinking I was going to get shot in the back," said Ted Ganchiff, one of the victims.
Both incidents were caught on home surveillance video but in different parts of the city at different times of the day, shedding light on the frightening reality that these crimes can and do happen everywhere.
"I never expected it. I’ve lived in the city my whole life. I’ve really never had a violent encounter," said Ganchiff.
According to Chicago police, Ganchiff had just parked his car in the 3300 block of South Normal Thursday night when a grey sedan pulled up next to him. A man got out, opened Ganchiff's door and demanded the vehicle.
"He was a great big guy. Pulled the door open [and] grabbed me," said Ganchiff. "I just wanted nothing to do with this, and I was like take the car, and I just bull rushed and pushed through him and got out of there."
Video surveillance captures Ganchiff running away. At first, it appears the suspect starts chasing him. Ganchiff says the man couldn't find the keys and demanded to know where they were.
"In that moment, since I’m running across this yard, I thought, well, there’s two things that could happen here. One, he could shoot me, get the keys out of my pocket where he thinks they are, or I can turn and let him know, so I can just get him in that car and get him out of there."
Ganchiff chose the latter. He was able to get away with only a small scrape on his nose.
Two days later, in West Town, another man was carjacked. This time, the incident happened in broad daylight on a Saturday morning.
"He had a ski mask on, and he had a gun pointed right at me, said 'give me your keys,'" said the victim, who asked not to be identified for safety reasons.
The man is a musician and was loading instruments into his Dodge Durango before the attack.
"I didn’t even see the guy in my peripheral. I just turned, and there he was," he said.
"I was like, this is not happening right now, this is not happening. That’s what I was thinking."
He complied, gave up the keys, and luckily, he wasn't hurt. The suspect got away with the vehicle. His golf clubs and phone were still inside the SUV.
Chicago police have not made any arrests in either case but confirm investigations are underway.
Both victims are grateful their situations didn't end worse and hope this is a lesson to everyone: Your life is worth more than a car.
"Kind of just got to keep that in mind. That’s the most important thing. Your car is something that can be replaced."