CHICAGO (CBS) — She thought she was going to die. A Chicago Uber driver says Wednesday last week she picked up a man who pulled out a gun and carjacked her. She says it is happening a lot these days.
CBS 2 looked into it and found carjackings have doubled since this time last year.
“There’s nothing going through your mind but I’m going to die,” said Gizelle Flores.
She said she picked the man up, and everything seemed normal at first.
“He jammed a gun into my rib cage and said verbatim, ‘If you don’t want to die you’re going to do what I say,'” she said.
She said she went numb. She was following orders but able to stall the man enough to get out of the car with her phone and wallet in hand. It happened in the 5600 block of South Green Street.
“He just drove off with the car, sped off,” she said.
Police found her car ransacked and ditched the next day.
“Carjackings have risen the past few months because a lot of people are desperate,” she said.
CBS 2 dug into that and found there is truth to it. Honing in on the city’s numbers from September and October, we found carjackings across the city doubled in that time frame this year and more than double the average from 2015 to 2019.
There were 133 in 2019 and 266 in 2020.
The five community areas that have seen the highest numbers of carjackings and the biggest increases are Austin, West Garfield Park, the Near West Side, North Lawndale and Greater Grand Crossing.
“We’ve gotten several messages from drivers about carjackings and assaults in the past few weeks. Violence against drivers has always been an issue, and often underreported,” said attorney Bryant Greening with LegalRideshare.
“As a woman driving, it’s scary as hell,” Flores said. “They’re targeting Uber drivers.”
She said she can’t do it anymore, not after this, which leaves her in a difficult position since she says she was only driving Uber to make ends meet. She was furloughed as a chef because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I had to raise awareness,” she said.
She said she hopes speaking out about this and the rise in crimes like it helps someone else.
“To find out I’m not the only one who’s been through this, it’s all the more reason to say something and let it be known,” she said.
Chicago Police say area one detectives are still investigating. No one was in custody Friday at 10 p.m.
CBS 2 reached out to Uber but had not received a response Friday night.
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