North Side gas station car theft caught on video: 'It's scary'

Stephanie Wade Image
Saturday, January 6, 2024
North Side gas station car theft caught on video: 'It's scary'
A car was stolen from a North Clark Street Citgo gas station near Graceland Cemetery while a woman pumped gas, and it was caught on video.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A woman's SUV was stolen while she pumped gas on Chicago's North Side, and the broad daylight theft was caught on video.

The incident took place in the 4000-block of North Clark Street, near Graceland Cemetery.

The woman who was targeted is speaking out about the crime.

"It's just, it's scary," she said.

It happened so fast, Michelle Welch was left with her hands on her head -- dumbfounded.

"I couldn't wrap my brain around it. I thought I had accidentally started the car; I thought the car went into drive," Welch said.

In a matter of seconds, around 3 p.m., she was standing on the right side of her car, pumping gas at a Citgo gas station on Clark, just north of Wrigley Field, when a man slid into the driver's seat, unbeknownst to her, and drove away.

"Didn't even hear the guy get in the car, he waited until I finished gassing up; I clicked the gas cap in, and then he just took off," Welch said.

Video from another angle shows the thieves pull up on a side street in a white car.

The suspect makes a dash toward Welch's SUV, and the white car follows behind.

"He was in the car for several seconds, watching me and waiting," she said. "There were probably four to five other people getting gas, people walking in and out of the minimart."

An employee said this is the third time a customer has had his or her car stolen at that gas station in three months.

Chicago police said Welch wasn't the only person who was victimized this week.

Surveillance video from Thursday morning shows two gunmen force a 28-year-old man out of his car at a BP gas station in Edgebrook.

Police said a suspect hit the man in the head with a handgun, then sped off.

Welch said she's just lucky her situation wasn't worse.

"You know if I got caught, if something had gotten caught in the handle, if they could've dragged me down the street, if my kids were in the car, I just would really want people to be careful," Welch said.

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