Grandmother carjacked while reading bible in front of Portage Park school

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A 72-year-old grandmother was carjacked Thursday afternoon while sitting in her car reading her bible in front of a Lutheran grade school in the Portage Park neighborhood on the Northwest Side.

The carjacking happened about 2 p.m., Chicago Police said.

The woman was sitting in her parked car in front of St. John's Lutheran Church and School, 4939 W. Montrose Ave., when a man between 18 and 22 years old got out of a silver hatchback SUV and pointed a gun at her, police said.

"Before she could do anything, he opened the door and he grabbed her arm and took her out of the car...pointed a gun at her chest," said Tracy Baldwin, the victim's daughter.

A second male stayed in the SUV while the man with the gun told the woman to get out of her car, police said. When the woman got out, the man grabbed her purse and drove off in her car. Both vehicles escaped on Montrose after the carjacking.

Baldwin's mother, who was picking up her two children who attend the school, was not hurt during the encounter, police and school officials said.

"I was just terrified and shocked that that had happened just outside of a someone reading her bible," said Baldwin.

Police have increased their presence near the school and neighborhood.

"After talking with the police department they are currently going to increase their attention to our school on a regular basis particularly between drop off and pick up," said Interim principal Dr. Donald Hendricks.

Baldwin had a message for the men who carjacked her mother.

"I just want to say to those guys that did it, not in my neighborhood. We're going to stand up and we're going to fight back. Turn yourselves in. Do the right thing. Because imagine if it was your mom, or your grandma that this happened to," said Baldwin.

"Everyone should be able to feel safe in their neighborhood doing things like that. I think that's a fundamental right of citizens in any city. Even if you live in Chicago," she said.

Area North detectives were investigating.

Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.
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