Reporting Pamela Jones
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CHICAGO (CBS) – It started as a test drive, but within seconds a Chicago car salesman was knocked to the ground when a carjacker hit him with the car and drove away. It was the third in a string of carjackings at auto dealerships in the area in recent weeks.
CBS 2′s Pamela Jones reports that surveillance video captured the latest carjacking around 6:10 p.m. on Oct. 26 outside S & M Auto Sales near 59th Street and Western Avenue.
“The guy, all of a sudden, just put the car in gear and took off,” car salesman Mohammad Ihmoud said.
Fellow salesman Mohannad Salamah was standing next to a car he was trying to sell, about to go for a test drive with a man who looked like he wanted to buy.
Ihmoud said the man looked “like any other individual walking in, looking for a car.”
But instead, the man started the car, pulled into gear and took off, knocking Salamah to the ground.
Salamah struggled to get back up and go for help.
“That’s dangerous. That’s very dangerous. I mean, you’re risking a human being life over nothing? That’s not proper,” Ihmoud said.
The dealership says the driver took the car about two blocks from the lot and abandoned it near 58th Street and Claremont Avenue.
It was the third in a string of similar carjackings in the area.
Police said that on Oct. 10, a suspect asked for a test drive at a dealership in the 6800 block of South Oakley Avenue and later forced the salesman out of the car at gunpoint.
On Oct. 21, it happened again at a car dealer in the 5600 block of South Western Avenue. This time, two additional suspects got in the car and forced the salesman out.
The dealer in the most recent case said the salesman did take the suspect’s driver’s license and copy it for safety, but it just wasn’t enough.
“You try to be trusting, you know, but, unfortunately, it happened what happened,” Ihmoud said.
Salamah suffered a fractured rib and internal bleeding. The car dealer said the suspect in his case was arrested, but police were still looking for suspects in the other two cases.