Carjackers nabbed and charged

By Bourree Lam

Two South Side men have been charged for a one-day carjacking spree that shook the Hyde Park-South Kenwood neighborhood last month, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) announced in a news release earlier this week.

Kendal A. Burke, 20, and Timothy Banks, 19, were charged last Thursday after police followed leads that brought them to one of the suspects, according to the release. Both suspects reside in the South Shore neighborhood.

Four carjackings occurred between 7:30 and 11:30 p.m. on December 12. The fifth robbery had occurred on December 10, now confirmed to be related to the four December 12 robberies. In the December 10 incident, the offenders tried to force the victim into the trunk of his car and beat him when he resisted, according to the release.

“The arrests were made after a diligent and thorough investigation by the Chicago Police Department,” said Bob Mason of the South-East Chicago Commission, a community organization that monitors crime.

Mason said that in addition to the U of C Police Department (UCPD), the U.S. Marshals Service’s Great Lakes Task Force and Chicago’s gang intelligence and fugitive units assisted the CPD in the investigation.

“This is fairly recent,” said Mason of the U.S. Marshals’ involvement in the investigation. He explained that for carjacking cases, the federal task force available for assistance is the U.S. Marshals.

Burke and Banks have provided handwritten statements to the police admitting their role in the robberies, according to the release. Both have been charged with two counts of kidnapping, four counts of armed robbery, and one count of aggravated robbery.

Mason could not confirm whether all cars have been recovered, including a black 2000 Suzuki station wagon, a black 2002 Honda four-door sedan, and a red 2003 Ford four-door. Police found the vehicle involved in the fourth carjacking, a gray 2000 Nissan, on December 12.

“While carjackings are common in the city, it has not been very common in Hyde Park,” Mason said. “Street robberies and muggings remain the most common crimes.”