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EVANSTON, Ill. — The armed carjacker who brazenly stole an SUV from a family in Evanston and later crashed the vehicle in Skokie is still on the run.

The incident occurred on a bustling corner of downtown Evanston, with holiday shoppers on the busy sidewalk, that saw a carjacker pull a gun on the startled motorist just after 9 p.m. Wednesday.

“The victim stated that he was approached by a subject that was masked and hooded, who produced a handgun and ordered everyone out of the vehicle,” said Evanston Police Commander Ryan Glew.

Glew says the carjacker struck the victim with his pistol, but all four occupants of the car managed to escape as the suspect fled in the stolen Jeep Cherokee.

Police used this incident to remind residents to stay alert and be aware of their surroundings.

“One of our officers did spot the vehicle and made an attempt to stop the vehicle,” Glew said. “The vehicle did not stop and they terminated that pursuit in town.”

Skokie Police was soon alerted to the runaway carjacker. Department officers also attempted to stop the carjacker, which Glew says, did not comply with police commands.

Minutes later, however, the stolen SUV crashed into another vehicle near the intersection of Enfield and Dempster. No one was seriously injured.

The suspect, according to witnesses, ran away from the scene.

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Merchants in Evanston, where the incident started, say they are stunned to hear about the carjacking.

“So far, I can tell you I’ve been here since 2014. I’ve never heard about such things,” says Pascal Berthoumieux. “So, this is a first.”