CHICAGO (CBS) — Two people were carjacked and a third had a car stolen in less than an hour overnight in Lakeview and Lincoln Park.
The first theft happened shortly before midnight, when two men with a gun walked up to a 25-year-old woman near Ashland and Barry, and stole the keys to her red Toyota Corolla.
Police later spotted the stolen car on the South Side, and briefly gave chase, but officers ended their pursuit. The stolen Toyota later was found crashed near Marquette Road and King Drive.
Shortly before 12:30 a.m., a delivery driver was dropping off food near Halsted and Dickens, when two men walked up to him, and one of them pulled out a gun. Police said the robbers stole his iPhone, driver’s license, car, and $10 in cash.
Around 10 minutes later, a 26-year-old woman was sitting in her Ford Fusion less than a mile away near Halsted and Willow, when someone tapped on her window and waved a gun. One robber told her to get out of the car, and a second pulled her out of the vehicle.
Police found the stolen Ford Fusion later Thursday morning near 69th and Anthony, about a quarter mile away from where the stolen Toyota Corolla was abandoned, while officers were investigating the first theft. Police said officers who had chased the Corolla saw it driving behind the Fusion.
Investigators also found at least one other vehicle nearby, linked to a carjacking from Monday. Officers dusted for prints on a Honda Civic parked near 69th and Lawrence, 16 miles south of where it was stolen.
The car’s owner did not want to be identified, but said he was parking the Civic in the Buena Park neighborhood on Monday, when a group of teens yelled at him, and pulled on the doors. He said he ran, and they chased him, then hit him in the back of the head, and took off in his car.
The string of carjackings Wednesday night and early Thursday came on the heels of at least six others this month in Uptown, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, North Center, and Lincoln Square.
Police said as many as five suspects approach people stopped inside their cars or alone on the street, and demand their vehicle or car keys. In some of the incidents, the robbers display one or more guns.
No one is in custody in any of the cases.
Hours before the most recent robberies, police announced they are equipping 200 more squad cars with license plate readers to combat carjackings. The tools scans license plates to determine if a car has been stolen.