CHICAGO — The Chicago Police Department believes a recent carjacking suspect could be an elementary school student.
An attempted car jacking in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood happened on the 7000 block of South Merrill around 12 a.m. Friday.
Chicago police sent out a community alert Sunday. A half an hour before Friday nights incident, CPD said someone grabbed a victim’s keys near the 2100 block of East 70th Street, taking their vehicle. Both incidents happened within block of O’Keefe Elementary School.
“She came face to face with a young boy that couldn’t be any more than ten-years-old,” Block President of Paradise on Merrill Diane Hodges said.
The suspects in two carjackings in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood have different descriptions. The first incident, involved a man wearing a furry jacket and a red and black ski mask. The younger offender wore a hooded sweatshirt, black jeans, and a mask.
“It’s very sad to know that our children are out there we’re here to help them in the ways we can the school has been doing a great job in providing activities,” Merrill Community Garden Education coordinator Natalie Perkins said.
She said it’s more important now than ever to provide a positive place for children in the neighborhood.
The Merrill Community Garden recently received an accelerator grant helping to create a summer camp to combat crime.
“We had just listened to a bunch of crime stats in this area and apparently there’s a group of youth car jackers so I wasn’t shocked by it,” South Shore resident Anthony Crawford said.
Compared to 2022, carjacking’s in the City of Chicago are down 25.5%. But of the 80 arrests for vehicular high jackings, 69% have been juvenile offenders.
“They caught two young men both underage with a stolen car and guns and catch one of the offenders but I think he was out of jail within a couple of hours and back on the street,” Crawford said.
“Some of them you’ll save some of them you won’t but we have to try to do something because we’re at an epidemic standpoint right now,” Hodges said.