At least five carjackings were reported during a 24-hour period from Saturday into Sunday in Chicago - a concerning trend that has community activists worried.
In the latest incident, a man was carjacked at approximately 8:33 a.m. Sunday following a minor traffic crash on Lake Shore Drive, police said. According to authorities, the occupants of the other vehicle involved in the crash approached the man, displayed a weapon and announced a robbery.
The offenders stole the victim's belongings and then drove away with the victim's vehicle, authorities said.
The Cook County Sheriff's Office on Sunday released surveillance photos of two SUVs that were stolen in separate carjackings just minutes apart Saturday night.
In one instance, a 34-year-old man was driving his gray 2021 Audi Q5 on North LaSalle at approximately 8:48 p.m. when a white sedan bumped the rear of his SUV, police said. The driver pulled over to exchange information at which point an individual exited the other vehicle and pointed a gun at him. The offender, who was accompanied by multiple others in the sedan, stole the keys from the SUV's driver and left the scene, police said.
Two minutes after that incident, a 40-year-old man was carjacked on North Boulevard, according to authorities. The victim had just entered his black Porsche Cayenne when two unknown men approached him, and one displayed a gun. They demanded the victim's SUV and then fled the scene, law enforcement stated.
Two carjackings were reported early Sunday in the 19th Ward on the city's Southwest Side, prompting Ald. Matt O'Shea, who represents the area, to send out a warning to constituents.
"We have a much lower crime rate than nearly every in the city, so anytime you see this type of crime, it’s alarming. It’s concerning. It has people scared," he said.
In one of the incidents, in the Beverly neighborhood, a 64-year-old man was sitting in his vehicle parked in the 1200 block of South Oakley Avenue at approximately 4:50 a.m. when three unknown offenders approached, police said. One offender produced a gun and demanded the victim's vehicle.
That carjacking, according to Chicago police, could be connected to a separate incident that occurred approximately an hour earlier in neighboring Mount Greenwood.
In that instance, two women were in a vehicle parked in front of a restaurant in the 3100 block of West 103rd Street when three unknown offenders approached the vehicle, according to police. Two of the offenders produced guns and demanded that the victims exit the vehicle.
A third victim, a 29-year-old man who was inside the restaurant, attempted to confront one of the offenders, at which point the offender struck him in the face with a gun, police said. The offenders then fled the scene. The victim declined medical attention, police said.
Following a significant spike in carjackings and gun violence across the city, Pastor Donovan Price has organized a routine prayer circle at 7 p.m. every Monday night at 87th Street and the Dan Ryan Expressway.
"I don’t want us to be afraid, but be more aware and fight this," he said.