CHICAGO (CBS) — Three teenage boys have been charged with a pair of carjackings in seven days, and police said they might be tied to a larger carjacking ring.

Two 15-year-old boys and a 16-year-old boy were charged in connection with a carjacking in Morgan Park on Sunday, and another in Washington Heights on Nov. 13, police said.

Police said the trio might be connected to as many as 16 carjackings since Halloween. There have been a total of 60 carjackings between Nov. 6 and Nov. 20, according to Chicago police.

Carjackings have surged this year in Chicago, with more than 700 so far. Police have said part of the problem is many of the suspects are juveniles who know they won’t face serious punishment. Carjackings also can result in copycats, when suspects tell others how easy it is to commit the crime.

In these two carjackings, the suspects approached a parked vehicle, ordered the driver to get out, and stole the car. Detectives identified the suspects using surveillance video footage, according to police.

The teens are accused of first carjacking a driver in the 9600 block of South Yale Avenue on Nov. 13 in the Washington Heights neighborhood.

The second carjacking happened on Sunday in the Morgan Park neighborhood, police said. Barbara Martin, 52, was pulling out of a driveway near 115th and Oakley, when two teens pulled up in another car. She told police one of them got out, threatened her with a gun, and ordered her to get out of the car and on the ground.

The gunman then got in her 2016 Kia Sorrento, and drove away, police said.

One 15-year-old was charged with one felony count of possession of a stolen motor vehicle, three felony counts of identity theft, and one misdemeanor count of driving without a license. The other 15-year-old was charged with two felony counts of aggravated possession of a stolen motor vehicle, one felony count of aggravated vehicular hijacking, three felony counts of identity theft, and one misdemeanor count of driving without a license. The 16-year-old was charged with a misdemeanor count of criminal trespass to a vehicle.

All three were due to appear in Juvenile Court on Wednesday.

 

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