A 72-year-old grandmother is one of the latest victims in a string of carjackings in crime-ridden Chicago.
The woman was reading her Bible as she sat in her car near the playground at St John’s Lutheran Church and school in the 4900 block of West Montrose Avenue, WBBM-TV reported. She was waiting to pick up her grandchildren on Thursday.
“Where else can you feel safe? If you can’t feel safe outside a church and school, where else can you feel safe in the city?” Tracy Baldwin, daughter of the victim, told the TV station.
As the grandmother waited, a car pulled up in front of her. An armed suspect emerged, approached the woman, pointed a gun at her, and demanded she get out of her car, WBBM reported. A second suspect remained in a small, silver hatchback car.
After she got out of her vehicle, the gunman took the woman's purse and jumped in her car. Then the gunman and the suspect in the silver hatchback both sped off.
Police have warned Jefferson Park residents that three carjackings have happened in the last five days, according to the report.
Was anyone injured?
The woman, who was not injured, said that if the attack had happened just 30 minutes later, her grandchildren would have been in the car.
“I don’t even want to think about that,” Baldwin told WBBM.
But no one was injured in the incident.
WBBM said the victim was too frightened to appear on camera. She seemed to even feel badly for the man who stole her car.
“She even called [the suspect] good-looking and said his hand was shaking and he seemed nervous and so she felt bad for him,” Baldwin said.
Are reports of carjackings increasing?
Much of the attention on crime in Chicago is focused on the city's increase in shootings and homicides over the past two years. But carjackings are also on the rise, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Reports of carjackings are at their highest level in the past 10 years, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Chicago police statistics show there were 682 carjackings in 2016, more than double the number from each of the two previous years. In 2017, that number spiked to 967, according to the report. The last time the city came close to that figure was 898 carjackings in 2007.