CHICAGO (CBS) — After a horrifying carjacking in which a man was shot in the arm, a family from Bucktown packed up and moved from the city.
As CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported Tuesday night, the Ariola family called Chicago home for 30 years and lived in Bucktown for 21 of them. But all it took was one violent incident in their garage for them to decide to move out of the city altogether.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Wind Chill Advisory In Effect, Wind Chills Dropping Well Below Zero
The citywide surge in carjackings is the main reason the Ariolas’ ZIP code change, and they are a worry for those who still live in Bucktown too.
David and Tina Ariola, along with their daughter, became victims of a violent attempted carjacking in Bucktown back in December 2020. The robbers shot David Ariola in the arm while he was trying to protect his family.
“We got lucky the first time,” said Tina Ariola.
Fast-forward nine months, and the Ariolas no longer call Bucktown, or Chicago, home.
“We sat down and said, ‘OK look, this happened – should we leave, or should we try to stick it out?'” Tina Ariola said. “But we don’t see anything changing.”
Since the family’s ordeal, CBS 2 crunched the numbers and found there have been at least 15 carjackings this year within half a mile of where they lived for 21 years.READ MORE: View Live Radar
“We don’t look at it like, ‘Ha, good we got out,'” said Tina Ariola.
Instead, David and Tina Ariola question when it will end.
“I think it’s just a failure of leadership,” David Ariola said. “For whatever reason, no one seems to be able to stop it, or not stopping it. it’s a huge disappointment.”
On Tuesday night, some of the Ariolas’ former Bucktown neighbors came out, asking that same question. Shakespeare (14th) District officers tried to let anxious homeowners now they are aware of the spike.
This year through Sept. 20, there have been 34 carjackings in the Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods. There were only 15 during the same timeframe in 2020.
Bucktown resident Daryl Sikes said he is not scared, yet he understands the fears. After 10 years of owning his home in Bucktown, he is not ready to pack up – but he wants so me action to make everyone feel safe.
“Everything is cyclical. There’s highs and lows. It was bad before, it got better, and we’re in a period where it’s bad again – but we have to decide that we have to actually substantively do something different,” Sikes said.
But the Ariolas refused to take a second chance, especially when it came to protecting their family.MORE NEWS: Many Chicago Area Schools To Close Or Go Remote Wednesday Due To Extreme Cold
Chicago Police said they have increased and saturated patrols in the area in light of the spike in carjackings, but many of the neighbors said they fear the criminals won’t back down until they realize they will truly be punished for the crimes.