CHICAGO — Chicago’s Northwest Side community is demanding answers from police after another series of carjackings Tuesday night.
Around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, employees at Beard Papa’s Cream Puff Bakery on North Avenue in Wicker Park say one of their customers stepped outside to check on her parking spot across the street.
“She ran in and she was like ‘call the cops, call the cops.’ That was scary to hear,” said Daniel Hernandez with Beard Papa’s.
Police say the 23-year-old woman was carjacked by someone wearing a ski mask. The offender took off with the female victim’s new Jeep Wrangler, her purse and her iPhone. She was unharmed.
“It is very unsettling,” neighbor Niels Dale said.
Dale has lived on the block since the late ’90s. But, for him, he said with time comes perspective.
“You could say it’s the worst ever in terms of the random violence that occurs,” he said.
Tuesday night’s carjacking was just the latest in a series of events. On Monday night, police said a group of men were responsible for carjackings or armed robberies, blocks away, in the span of about two-and-a-half hours. At least one of those suspects was also wearing a ski mask.
Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward) says the challenge is what he and some neighbors consider lax punishment for the crime.
“The reality is we’re not seeing the level of legal accountability for these people that we should be,” he said. “I think if the criminals know they’re just going to get a slap on the wrist, they’ll continue to do it.”
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But ongoing crime in the community won’t deter some neighbors.
“It’s very safe to live here and it’s very safe to own a business,” Janel Syron, owner of Liquor Park, said.
“I feel confident walking down this street at that hour,” he said. “I don’t feel any danger.”