Four teens were arrested Tuesday night after allegedly carjacking a man as he shoveled snow from a parking space in Noble Square on the Northwest Side.
About 11:40 p.m., the 28-year-old was shoveling snow near the curb in order to park his blue Lexus ES300 in the 1400 block of North Clever Street, when two males ran up to him after getting out a tan-colored Ford Fusion, Chicago police said.
One of the males pointed a gun at the man as the second took money and car keys from the man, police said. One of the males then jumped into the Lexus and fled the scene while the second male followed behind in the original vehicle they arrived in.
Shortly after, a squad car saw a vehicle that matched the description of the stolen Lexus in the 5100 block of West Madison Street about 1:20 a.m., and pulled it over, police said.
The car was verified stolen and a boy and girl, both 15, and a man and woman, both 19, were taken into custody, police said. Charges are pending.
No one was injured, police said.
The carjacking came amid a rise in incidents of the crime across the city.
Two people were carjacked on the same block Thursday night in Edgewater on Chicago's North Side.
Before that, at least three carjackings were reported in Chicago Tuesday night, according to police: a food delivery driver in West Town, a 29-year-old man in Edgewater and a 38-year-old woman in Kenwood.
Late last month, 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.