At least three carjackings were reported in Chicago Tuesday night, according to police, amid a concerning spike in incidents of the crime.
A food delivery driver was carjacked Tuesday in West Town on the Near West Side.
About 10:05 p.m., the driver was delivering food to a home in the 900 block of West Washington Boulevard when he was pushed to the ground and someone stole his 2003 silver SUV, Chicago police said.
The driver was not injured, police said.
A 29-year-old man was carjacked at gunpoint about an hour and a half earlier in Edgewater, and about an hour after that, a 38-year-old woman was carjacked by gunmen in Kenwood.
Last week, Police Supt. David Brown announced steps the department was taking to address the recent spike in carjackings. Carjackings in 2020 doubled in Chicago compared to the previous year, and so far in 2021 there have been at least 144 reported, officials said.
Brown and Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said the department will add more detectives to find the individuals committing the citywide carjackings and bring them to the Cook County state's attorney's office for prosecution.
Brown said, on average, the city's carjacking crimes are committed by individuals between the ages of 15 and 20, with one offender as young as 12. He called on others working with the city's young people to contribute to the effort, saying it takes more than simply law enforcement to curb the problem.
"Law enforcement cannot do this alone. We need everyone -- teachers, mentors coaches parents, the faith community and others -- to help us," Brown said.
Deenihan said that the additional resources CPD has added in 2021 will allow for a carjacking-specific team to operate in each detective division area citywide. He said the department must work with neighborhoods personally to solve the issue.
"We need to work directly with the young people to provide opportunities and dissuade them from contributing to this problem," Deenihan said.
CPD has provided tips on the best practices to avoid becoming a carjacking victim in Chicago. Brown said the groups of carjackers tend to travel in pairs or fours, and are typically canvassing individuals for an opportunity to arise.
"One of the tips that we try to give victims is to be aware of your surroundings," Brown said. "Try as much as possible when you are going from a store, from your car and back to your car to look around to see if you see any suspicious activity. If you see something suspicious, this is where you got to call 911 and say there was a suspicious car behind my car, instead of walking up and having an armed confrontation."
Brown noted that some carjackings have made their way to Chicago suburbs, so CPD is making the effort to reduce the crimes a regional collaboration.