CHICAGO (WLS) -- A 28-year-old man had his car stolen Tuesday night while he was digging out a parking spot in Noble Square, Chicago police said.
The man was shoveling snow about 11:40 p.m. in the 1400-block of North Cleaver Street when two male suspects approached him after exiting a tan Ford Fusion, police said. One of them had a gun and pointed it at the man, while a second took money and car keys out of the man's pockets.
One of the suspects jumped into the man's blue Lexus ES300 and drove away, while the second suspect followed in the original vehicle in which they had arrived.
They were last seen traveling south on Cleaver. Then, a vehicle matching the description and license plate of the stolen car was spotted about 10 miles away in the 5100-block of West Madison Street just after 1:20 a.m. Wednesday, police said.
After the car was pulled over at a gas station, it was confirmed as stolen. Four people were inside, and a 19-year-old man, a 15-year-old boy, a 19-year-old woman and a 15-year-old girl were taken into custody.
There were no injuries reported, police said.
The man would not press charges against the four in the incident, but John Daniels, 19, of Chicago was held on a separate warrant, and charged with issuance of a warrant. He is due in court Wednesday.
Also on Tuesday night, Alderman Michele Smith held a virtual forum on the surge in carjackings, including ways to try and keep suspects behind bars.
"We are also looking at other ways to look into how we are doing at bond court," one speaker said. "What information can we gather with the help of our law enforcement partners and our federal partners to present at bond court, in the hopes that a judge, when they hear this information, will look to enhance the bail amount?"
Around the same time as the forum, a 34-year-old man was getting into his 2018 Range Rover when someone pointed a gun at him and stole his car in the 800-block of West Willow Street, police said.
And Wednesday morning, someone tried to carjack a victim near 67th Street and Oakley Avenue, but the vehicle was stuck in the snow, and the suspect took off, according to Chicago police.
CPD continues to warn residents to stay alert.
"About 58% of the total for motor vehicle thefts are unattended vehicles. With that, we've developed strategies to notify people who are leaving their vehicles running," CPD Cmdr. Chris Papaioannou said. "We were actually ticketing cars just to let people know they will get their car stolen if they leave it running with the keys inside."
Chicago police data show carjackings increased by more than 280% last month, compared to January 2020.
Another webinar on carjackings is being held Wednesday night, hosted by Chicago police.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire - Copyright Chicago Sun-Times 2021.)