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Multiple weekend carjackings raise concerns of city leaders, victims looking for answers

By Alexis McAdams, ABC7 News

There have been at least half a dozen carjackings reported in the city and suburbs since Friday, shining a light on the growing problem in the city.

It’s a scenario that is becoming all too common in the city of Chicago.

“Immediately two men got out of a tan SUV, one of them came running up to me, and I remember saying, ‘please do not hurt me.’ Begging for my life,” said carjacking victim Kelly Milan. “He just kept saying, ‘where are your keys – where are your keys?'”

Milan is now one of hundreds of carjacking victims, as reported incidents pop up across the city.

“It all happened so fast,” she said.

SAFETY TIPS: What to do if you’re approached by a carjacker

Milan said she was carjacked on Friday morning. She said she had just pulled up in front of a Hyde Park elementary school when three men surrounded her car, stole her keys, then took off.

“It is happening everywhere,” Milan added. “It does not matter where you are or what neighborhood you are in. It is happening.”

Erin Grobel’s story is similar, except this time it was in the Wicker Park area.

She said she was carjacked on Saturday afternoon by an armed teenager.

“[A] car pulls up really quickly behind me and two teenagers came out and I was trying to lock the door and start the car all at the same time,” she recalled.

Within seconds, the crew was gone and so was Grobel’s car.

“It is playing out in my head that it could have been so much worse,” she said.

The trend is also growing out in the suburbs.

Just in the last 48 hours, there have been carjackings reported in Naperville, Aurora and an attempted carjacking in Elmhurst.

The Aurora attack left a woman in critical condition after police say she was shot as the offenders stole her car in the parking lot of this Wendy’s.

Investigators said the offenders are tied to at least one other carjacking this weekend.

Aurora police are still working to track down the victim’s car and those who were involved.

Police are asking for the public’s help locating the vehicle stolen from Aurora. It is described as a red 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe with Illinois license place AE89203.

Back in Chicago, alderman are pushing to meet with the City to address the spike in carjackings.

In December, police said the City of Chicago saw the number of carjacking more that double from 2019 to 2020.

carjackingsPolice say carjackings are often crimes of opportunity, and the opportunities appear to be on a dramatic rise.

According to Chicago police, there were at least 1,236 carjackings in 2020; an increase of 134% over the same time last year. It’s also the highest number since 2002.

It’s unclear what’s behind the increase, but authorities say many of the perpetrators are juveniles, who face less serious legal consequences.

If you find yourself about to become the victim of a carjacking, police advise you cooperate with the bad guys and remember your vehicle is just property; it’s not worth risking your safety or life.

This article originally appeared on ABC7 News.

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