A carjacking and the armed robbery of a driver were reported last week in Chicago’s River North neighborhood.
The incident happened as the male victim, a 72-year-old man, was picking up his wife in the 800 block of North Rush Street at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, said Andy Conklin, a spokesman for the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.
The couple was switching seats and were outside the car when Ellis Partee, 54, forced his way into the car, Conklin said. The couple tried to stop him, but he drove off, “throwing them to the ground,” he added.
On Friday October 8th, a man was robbed while in his car. He was waiting at a traffic light.
At 10:34 p.m., four males, two men and two juveniles, approached a man who was sitting in a vehicle at 1 W. Ohio Street, near the corner of Ohio and State Street, according to a release from police News Affairs.
Many people are surprised that these types of crimes took place in what is considered a well to do, high traffic area. That may also be the reason why, in both incidents, the alleged assailants were quickly captured.
What can we learn from these crimes?
1) Just because you are in a well-populated area doesn’t mean you are safe from crime.
2) As you exit your car you need to maintain your awareness of who is approaching your vicinity.
3) Get in or out of your car quickly. Get out of the car with your belongings: don’t reach in after you have stepped out of the car.
3) Keep your windows closed and your car doors locked.
4) If someone attempts to open your car door while waiting at a traffic light beep your horn. Criminals don’t want that kind of attention.
5) You may find it necessary to drive through the intersection even if the traffic light is still red, if you feel your life is in danger. You will only want to do this if the intersection is free of pedestrian and automobile traffic.
6) If an armed assailant wants your car, give it to them. Your life is more valuable than your car.
These crimes can happen to anyone, especially when you feel comfortable with your surroundings and you let your guard down. Stay alert no matter how safe you feel. It is a good habit and it a takes a lot of practice. Get started now!