CHICAGO — A 24-year-old woman has been charged in the armed carjacking of a woman outside her home on the city’s South Side last week.
Kayla Bell faces one misdemeanor count of criminal trespassing to a vehicle.
Police said the incident happened on Nov. 2 in the 9300 Block of South Pleasant Avenue in the Beverly neighborhood. The victim and her 12-year-old daughter were arriving home from a volleyball open gym when she was targeted by two thieves.
Police say two offenders held the victim up at gunpoint and pushed her to the ground before demanding car keys then took the victim’s belongings and fled the scene in the stolen car.
Police say Bell was found exiting the stolen vehicle several days after – and seven miles away – from the Beverly home where the carjacking took place.
Police have only filed one misdemeanor count of criminal trespass to a vehicle and have not yet requested more serious charges from prosecutors, according to a spokesperson for the Cook County State’s Attorney.
Felony charges could come if the victims can identify the suspect in a line-up or surveillance video or other evidence directly links her to the actual carjacking.
Chicago police said their investigation is “ongoing.”
19th Ward Ald. Matt O’Shea said the person who has been charged “certainly is not the perpetrator.”
In other cases, investigators have described the difficulty in charging a person with vehicular hijacking if they can’t be connected back to the original crime scene. It’s why some carjackings only result in the more minor charge of possession of a stolen vehicle.
“From our community alone, dozens of residents have submitted Ring camera video of suspects making their way through the neighborhood,” O’Shea said.
O’Shewa said the arrest can help detectives close in on the armed guys seen on the video.
“Law enforcement has the technology to identify who you’ve texted with, who you’ve spoken with, who you’ve changed pictures with,” O’Shea said.
No one else is in custody at this time. The investigation is ongoing.