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'Nicole' is a 16-year-old, knife-wielding carjacker who isn't sure how many heists she's pulled off amid Chicago's carjacking surge: 'I don't count'

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Image source: WBBM-TV video screenshot

"Nicole" is a 16-year-old girl — and a seasoned Chicago carjacker who has used a knife to threaten her victims.

She told WBBM-TV — along with a handful of other teen carjackers — what led her to take part in the city's carjacking surge and why she keeps committing the crime.

The number of times Nicole has carjacked isn't very clear to her — but it's at least six, the station said.

"I don't know," she told WBBM with a nervous giggle. "I don't count."

What are the details?

The station said it has been tracking Chicago's carjacking spike for two years — and arrest data shows 54% of carjacking arrestees from January through April were 17 years old or younger.

Image source: WBBM-TV video screenshot

Police aren't having much success collaring carjackers, WBBM said, adding that while its carjacking task force has expanded twice already this year, there have been only 73 arrests out of 1,203 carjackings — under a 6% arrest rate.

So the station sat down with some of the youngest carjackers in anonymous on-camera interviews.

'Just to get money'

Nicole — not her real name — told WBBM that her reasons for carjacking has ranged from acquiring instant transportation to acquiring cash.

"I had some place to go, and I didn't have a way there," she told WBBM. "Sometimes I even sell a car, like get a car just to get money."

Image source: WBBM-TV video screenshot

Being a girl can be an advantage for her when she's carjacking as "they wouldn't probably expect a younger-aged female to be out here carjacking."

No stranger to arrests

Nicole has been arrested, WBBM reported, but it hasn't quelled her interest in carjacking. Believe it or not, the station said that after a short stay in juvenile detention, Nicole was back out on the streets — and carjacking.

And she's still committing the crimes, WBBM said.

Nicole told the station she often targets a downtown area known as "The Loop" where 11 carjackings have taken place so far this year — two more than than in 2020 already.

She told a WBBM reporter the Loop is a prime spot because people feel more secure there: "Like they don't have to worry about nobody running up on them."

While Nicole said she's never physically hurt a carjacking victim, she admitted to the station that situations can escalate.

Nicole also blamed remote learning for her life of crime, noting to WBBM that her attendance often has depended on whether she's "feeling it or not."

"If I was, like, doing the in-person school, then it would be less of me, like, thinking to go carjack somebody," she added to the station.

She wants to be a doctor

Believe it or not, WBBM said Nicole wants to be a doctor and working in a hospital someday.

"Taking care of people or saving lives," she told the station, adding that she wants skeptics to know that she intends to graduate from high school and go to college.

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