CHICAGO (CBS) — Less than two days after three teens were arrested for trying to steal the car of a retired Chicago cop, one of them was in trouble with the law again.
Around 7 p.m. Friday, Texas Marshal Ricky Fobbs, a retired Chicago police officer, spotted a young man jump into his car while he was about to check in at the DoubleTree hotel in Streeterville.
Fobbs chased his car, yanked a teenager out, and pinned him to the ground. The suspect’s accomplices tried to run Fobbs over, but several witnesses blocked the car, and ultimately three teens – ages 14, 15, and 17 – were arrested on felony charges, including vehicular hijacking and attempted aggravated battery.
Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said all three suspects were released to their parents. Sunday night, one of them was arrested again, when he was caught with a gun in another stolen car in Englewood, Guglielmi said.
That arrest came the same day Police Supt. Eddie Johnson announced the formation of a new task force to combat the rise in carjackings in the Chicago area. The task force will include agents from the FBI and ATF, Illinois State Police officials, and top brass at CPD. Representatives of other local law enforcement agencies will attend the task force’s first meeting before deciding if they will join the effort.
Chicago police said there have been at least 86 carjackings this year through Feb. 1 – compared to 72 during the same period last year.
The spike in carjackings hasn’t been contained to the city. In Oak Park, there were 15 carjackings and four attempts last year, compared to four carjackings and one attempt in 2016.
Investigators said underage kids are responsible for a large amount of the carjackings in the Chicago area. Johnson said law enforcement must figure out how to handle juvenile carjackers.
“You can’t just give them a slap on the wrist, because when we do that, then the message that we send is we’re not serious about holding them accountable,” he said.
Members of the new task force on carjackings were holding their first meeting Monday morning at Chicago Police Headquarters.
Oak Park Police Chief Anthony Ambrose reportedly will decide after the initial meeting if he wants to dedicate any of his department’s resources to the task force.