CHICAGO (CBS) — Just hours after a man bought a Jeep, he lost it in a brazen carjacking in the early morning hours Thursday.

As CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reported Thursday night, the thieves were beyond bold – stealing one car and staying in the neighborhood to snag another. Surveillance video shows a pretty clear link.

De Mar talked to one of the victims of the carjackings in Bucktown.

Police said at 6:57 a.m. Thursday in the 1700 block of North Winchester Avenue, a 34-year-old woman parked her Nissan hatchback and casually got out, when a man in a yellow hoodie popped out of an alley, showed a gun, and took her keys.

The man drove off south toward North Avenue with a new set of wheels.

It was all caught on surveillance video, and to Brandon Rodriguez, 22, some things looked familiar.

“I see the video and I see the black Grand Cherokee and then I see the guy in the yellow hoodie who pulled the gun on me,” Rodriguez said.

Hours earlier at 2:36 a.m., Rodriguez was carjacked about a mile away in the 2300 block of West Shakespeare Avenue.

“They were like kind of like looking at me from here. One of them comes up to me, pulls a gun on me, and he’s like, ‘Hey give me your keys,’ And I’m just like, ‘All right man,’ I’m just like, ‘Say less,’” Rodriguez said. “Do what they say. I want to come out of this OK.”

Rodriguez’s Jeep Grand Cherokee was gone – or so he thought.

The car resurfaced just a few hours later to sneak up on that unsuspecting 34-year-old woman over on Winchester Avenue. There were two suspects involved in that incident, police said.

After the woman was carjacked, it was Rodriguez’s Jeep that was seen in the video peeling out.

“That’s crazy that they would even stay in the area,” Rodriguez said.

The Chicago Police Department formed a carjacking task force in 2018. It made a difference, said Bucktown Community Organization President Steve Jensen.

“It’s been quiet the past couple summers, and it’s disheartening to see this flare up again,” Jensen said.

Because the task force was successful, the CPD ended it.

“Last year, we had record lows in carjackings that we hadn’t seen in years, so those resources were diverted to something else,” then-police First Deputy Supt. Anthony Riccio in February.

The task force has since been brought back – reassembled in February as carjackings spiked.

“Hopefully, the police can activate the task force that we remember from two years ago and see if they can make a dent in this,” Jensen said.

“It was scary. I mean, you know, you don’t really like fear anything like that until it happens to you,” Jensen said. “You don’t know what to think when there’s a gun pointed right at you. You’re like, OK, this is life or death.”

Nobody was injured in either carjacking.

According to CPD data, Bucktown has seen three carjackings in the first three weeks of August.


Charlie De Mar