Chicago Tribune

Carjacking victims’ fears realized as Chicago fights to control the crime

CHICAGO — One woman’s Honda Civic was taken when she was held at gunpoint while picking up her son at a day care center. Another woman lost her Chevrolet Camaro after a day of shopping when she was pulled out of it and thrown to the ground and her key fob was ripped from its chain. A ride-share driver’s Ford Escape was stolen after he struggled with a customer he had asked not to eat in the ...

CHICAGO — One woman’s Honda Civic was taken when she was held at gunpoint while picking up her son at a day care center.

Another woman lost her Chevrolet Camaro after a day of shopping when she was pulled out of it and thrown to the ground and her key fob was ripped from its chain.

A ride-share driver’s Ford Escape was stolen after he struggled with a customer he had asked not to eat in the back seat. After a scuffle, the driver held onto the car as it started moving, his knees scraping the pavement after he let go.

“I was so upset when I saw that car being driven off,” the driver, Phillip Sanchez, told the Chicago Tribune. “My mind was freaking out.”

These were among the hundreds of carjackings in Chicago already this year, brazen crimes that have frightened city residents and frustrated police, politicians and community leaders — many of whom are already preoccupied with intractable violence that has given the city an unflattering reputation.

Through mid-March, there had been more than 370 carjackings in Chicago. Despite a dip during February’s harsh winter weather, that figure was easily the most seen here during the same period in any year since at least 2001, crime statistics show.

And the result is a shaken city, where residents look over their shoulders more than usual and at least one alderman has gone so far as scheduling a special, secure event at a gas station so constituents could safely fill up.

The woman who was thrown to the ground as her Camaro was taken blamed herself for becoming a victim.

“I knew this was happening a lot. I just wasn’t paying attention,” she told the Tribune in the moments after

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