CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago police have recovered an SUV that was used to run down a woman in a hit-and-run crash Monday.
The woman was struck at Canal and Harrison streets in the West Loop just after 1 p.m. Witnesses say she was trying to walk west across Canal street from a corner. That’s when the stolen SUV plowed into her, throwing her diagonally all the way across the street to another corner. Witnesses reported hearing an incredibly loud bang when she was hit.
CPD Officer Michelle Tannehill said the vehicle was speeding.
Witnesses said the woman appeared to see the stolen Ford Escape but was unable to move quickly enough to escape its path. They say the woman was not moving and appeared to have been killed instantly.
In trying to track down the killers of the approximately 25-year-old woman police released surveillance images of the vehicle, which was stolen from a 7-Eleven at Racine and Belmont avenues at 9:30 Monday morning.
That paid off, and police recovered the SUV in the 3300 block of South Wells Street. Police are dusting it for fingerprints and processing it for DNA.
Investigators believe there were three offenders in the vehicle. Employees at 7-11 say they saw two.
What is clear according to workers is that the thieves never entered the store but jumped in the vehicle because its keys had been left inside. Police say what happened should serve as a cautionary tale.
“We just want to remind everybody that if you are exiting your vehicle for any reason, if you’re entering a gas station or a restaurant or maybe a curbside pickup, please take the keys out of the ignition of your vehicle,” said Tannehill.
So far no one is in custody. The medical examiner’s office still has not identified the woman who died.