Chicago police have linked a group of armed children to at least 16 carjackings since the end of June in the city’s South Side neighborhood.
The children, said to be ages 10 to 17, committed their first carjacking June 23, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“In all of these incidents, 4-6 armed offenders approached citizens while they parked their vehicles or pulled into gas stations. They then demanded their vehicles and property,” a Sunday community alert from the Chicago Police Department read.
“In two of the incidents shots were fired but no injuries were reported.”
A woman named Alyssa Blanchard was one of the victims who was carjacked at gunpoint, and she said she is now too traumatized to go outside.
“I’m scared to use my garage. I don’t feel safe in my neighborhood,” Blanchard, an elementary school teacher, told the Sun-Times.
Blanchard was carjacked on the evening of July 14 as she pulled into her alley garage.
A group of three or four children approached her vehicle and pointed handguns at her as they ordered her out of her BMW.
She said they took her purse with about $300 inside and drove off in her car.
“It was so instantaneous,” Blanchard said. “I was just scared for my life. I thought, ‘This is it.’”
Her BMW was used the next day to carjack a woman in the parking lot of Trinity Hosptial, the Sun-Times reported.
In that incident, a 21-year-old woman was carjacked at gunpoint in the early morning.
Two teenagers confronted her with a gun and forced her to the ground outside the car. The woman was taken to the hospital following the incident with a foot injury.
“I don’t want to have to tell my kid about how some young woman was killed or shot with kids using my vehicle. It was traumatizing,” Blanchard said in response.
Her BMW has since been recovered by the police after it was crashed a couple of days after it was stolen.
As a school teacher, Blanchard told the Sun-Times she was shocked that children as young as 1o were involved in this kind of crime.
“I teach this age group, and I can’t believe they would do this,” she said.
Story cited here.