CHICAGO — Chicago police are ramping up efforts to stop a surge in carjackings across the city.
There have been 117 carjackings this year, compared to 67 during the same time last year, a 75 percent increase.
Friday the department met with state, county, and federal leaders to reactivate a joint task force that was formed in 2018 during another spike in carjackings.
Officials said they will charge more cases federally, which means a person has to serve 85 percent of their sentence.
This comes as police are investigating a carjacking and an attempted carjacking just blocks apart in the River North neighborhood.
The first incident happened around 10 p.m. Thursday in the 700 block of North Hudson Avenue.. Police said a man was walking to his BMW, when an armed offender got out of a black Dodge Challenger and demanded his keys. The victim initially refused, at which point the offender fired his gun into the air. The man then handed over his keys and ran away.
Police said the offender got into the BMW but was unable to drive it for some reason, and left in the Dodge Challenger.
The latest incident happened around 11 p.m. in the 300 block of West Ontario Street, when a man driving a Jeep was rear-ended while at a stop light by a dark-brown Volvo.
Police said the man exited his vehicle to assess the damage, and two people wearing masks got out of the Volvo and pointed a gun at him. One of the offenders fled in the victim's Jeep.
No one was injured and no one is in custody.
"Certainly anything in the area that's abnormal is concerning. I do walk through the area to and from work at night, so it's something to keep an eye on," said Tanya Carlson, a River North resident.
The River North cases make it five carjackings in the city in a little more than 24 hours.