Carjacking spree hits Hyde Park, two suspects in custody

By Ethan Frenchman

The Chicago Police Department (CPD) is pursuing two alleged offenders in a series of four Hyde Park-—South Kenwood carjackings and robberies on Monday, December 12.

In each instance between 7:30 and 11:30 p.m., two men approached a lone victim (three women and one man) exiting just-parked cars. The assailants produced a handgun, demanded valuables and car keys, and drove off in the victim’s car.

In the last two robberies, the victims were forced into the back of their cars by the assailants and driven to a Chase Bank branch at 63rd Street and Stony Island Avenue, where the assailants made them withdraw cash from the ATM.

The victims were then returned to Hyde Park and ordered out of their vehicles. The assailants then drove off with their cars, one of which was recovered a short time later near the scene.

Although the CPD has developed sketches of the assailants from victims’ descriptions and a video camera at the Chase Bank branch, no identifications have been made.

“Detectives are very intensely working on the case,” said U of C Police Department (UCPD) executive director Rudy Nimocks. The UCPD has boosted its patrols of the neighborhood.

Nimocks said that the pattern of four related offenses in a matter of hours was highly unusual. However, on the evening of November 8, a woman exiting her vehicle was forced back inside by two armed assailants and driven to a series of ATMs in an abortive attempt to withdraw cash.

The assailants were spotted traveling down the wrong way of a one-way street by a CPD patrol officer and eventually made off on foot with the victim’s valuables, abandoning the car and leaving the victim in the trunk. The CPD have apprehended two suspects in the November 8 case and said that the November and December cases are unrelated.

Police are still looking for a 2000 black Suzuki with Illinois license plate number 539 4416, a 2002 black Honda with Illinois license plate number 662 2370, and a 2003 red Ford with Illinois license plate number 644 1002.