Women fear being targeted by Chicago carjackers, alderman declares 'state of emergency' in ward

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Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Chicago carjackers target women on South, West Sides
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As Chicago carjacking surge in 2021, women and women rideshare drivers are being targeted, especially on the South and West Sides.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- As the number of carjackings in Chicago continue to rise, women are increasingly being targeted by criminals.

"When night falls, I'm put in a predicament in my mind to feel afraid,' said Angel Haralson, carjacking victim.

RELATED: Carjackers punch 73-year-old man driving to work in Calumet Heights

Harlason is a rideshare driver, and was carjacked on New Year's Day by two men. She said in that moment, she thought she was going to die.

"They were quiet. No one was saying anything. I pulled over to let them out of the car, and I heard the gun click," she recalled.

The gunmen yanked the 33-year-old West Sider out of the car before throwing her to the ground and making off with her RAV-4, Apple Watch and cell phone. Haralson is still bruised, and still frightened.

"There is a different pandemic that's on the South and West Sides as we see citywide, Cook Countywide," said 16th Ward Alderman Stephanie Coleman.

RELATED: Coalition launches 'Operation Safe Pump' as city leaders seek solutions for carjacking surge

Ald. Coleman said during a virtual town hall meeting that she's declaring a state of emergency concerning what she said is the specific targeting of women by carjackers.

"We as women, and our seniors, are our most vulnerable right now, and the numbers keep increasing," she said.

RELATED: Chicago police release video of suspects in string of carjackings, armed robberies across city, suburbs

Ald. Coleman's claim is anecdotal, but Chicago Police Department shows that with over 150 vehicular hijackings in the city so far this year, 2021 has seen almost four times the number of carjackings compared to 2020.

Recent efforts to combat the trend include a special taskforce, private security patrols, and CPD upping the number of officers assigned to respond to carjackings, plus moving license plate reading cameras closer to expressways.

Meanwhile, Haralson struggles to cope with the violent attack as she faces the financial fallout of being without both a car and a job.

"It was so unfortunate. Never in a million years would I have thought it would be me," she said.