Virtual town hall held to shine light on growing number of Chicago carjackings

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CHICAGO – A virtual town hall was held in Englewood Tuesday night to highlight the dangerous spike in Chicago carjackings.

Ald. Stephanie Coleman of the 16th Ward hosted the meeting.

“We know it is time for us to come together and find some solutions as it relates to public safety and you all this is a state of emergency,” she said.

The problem continues to grow after a high number of carjackings last year. In 2021, there have already been 185 carjackings throughout the city.

On Tuesday at 6:45 p.m., two men, 21, were carjacked at gunpoint at a gas station in the 1400 block of East 87th Street. Earlier in the morning, a 73-year-old Calumet Heights man was on his way to work at around 2 a.m. near 91st and Colfax when five mean in a white Hyundai pulled him out, punched him in the face and took off with his red Mitsubishi.

A national study by the National Insurance Crime Bureau found a more than 9% increase in auto thefts last year, including carjackings.

“It’s the biggest increase we’ve seen in the last decade,” David Glawe said. “Stolen vehicles have many uses, outside of juveniles using them to commit other crimes. There is a whole criminal enterprise to facilitate money laundering or smuggling.”

This past week, Ald. Coleman announced the Operation Safe Pump Program. Private security guards will watch gas stations across the city from 6 to 8 p.m., giving women and seniors a time to fill up and feel safe.

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