Police Warn Of Carjackings Near Lawndale, Garfield Park

CHICAGO (CBS) —  In Lawndale and nearby neighborhoods on the West Side, there have been six carjackings within a 20-week span.

All it took was a gun and a matter of seconds. That’s how one man describes the crime when it happened to him, CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross reports.

He’s hoping others can avoid becoming a victim.

You’ll find plenty of cars on the move and vehicles parked around Garfield Park.

But it’s those cars standing still off of places, including Lake and Hamilton Streets, that police say criminals are targeting.

“One guy came from the passenger side the other guy…came from the driver’s side,” one victim describes. “They could have shot me.”

Juwon Griffin says back in July, he was separated from his car because of a firearm and the threat to use it.

“I was like, ‘is this really happening to me?’”

Police say since Aug. 22, they’ve seen a rash of carjackings in the district that’s home to Garfleld Park and surrounding neighborhoods, noting that a half dozen crimes with the most recent taking place Sept. 3.

“No I’m not surprised it’s crazy what this world is coming to man,” Griffin says.

Law enforcement calls this an alert for communities, but Griffin says it’s more of a wake-up call for drivers.

“By the time you count to 20, my car was going down the street,” he said. “I was in a state of shock.”

Police eventually located Griffin’s vehicle. He says he’s only alive today, because he had the courage to let it go, while at the wrong end of a gun.

“Be careful and be alert,” he warns drivers. “You can always replace your car, but you can’t replace yourself.”

Police echo those thoughts saying stay aware of your surroundings; that means putting down the cell phone when you’re parked[[and stay alert.

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