Oakbrook Center Mall carjacking linked to I-290 chase, suspect sought by police

OAK BROOK, Ill. (WLS) -- A high-speed chase on the Eisenhower Expressway Wednesday is linked to a carjacking in a parking garage at Oakbrook Center Mall, Oak Brook police said Thursday.

Police said at about 9:36 a.m. Wednesday, a 68-year-old woman was getting ready for work in her car, which was parked in the mall's yellow parking garage. The woman said a white Toyota Camry parked behind her car and a man came out, opened her car door, pointed a gun at her and demanded she get out of the car.

As the man began pulling away in her Honda Civic, police said the woman grabbed her purse out of the back seat. Police said the man got out of the car, chased the woman down, snatched the purse back and drove off.

"He ran after and grabbed her purse from her and then got back in the vehicle and sped away in her vehicle, along with the vehicle they traveled in," said Chief James Kruger, Oak Brook Police.

Chopper 7HD flew over the crash near the Ashland Ave. exit on the Eisenhower expressway.

Police said the Camry was reported stolen out of Maywood and was later spotted on I-290 Wednesday.

The high-speed chase ended when the car exited the Eisenhower at Ashland Avenue and crashed through a fence, then slid down the embankment and came to a stop on the shoulder of the highway.

Illinois State Police said four people were taken into custody after the chase. It's unclear if the suspects are connected to the suburban carjackings.

"That is still under investigation right now. Our detectives are working alongside Maywood Police, Illinois State police trying to piece it together," Chief Kruger said.

Oak Brook police said Thursday the victim's Honda Civic was recovered in Chicago. Police said they are reviewing surveillance video and continuing to investigate.

In the meantime, shoppers in Oak Brook are on guard.

"It is scary. You feel unsafe. It is terrible thing to happen to anyone. It can happen at any time, 9AM proves that," shopper Kathleen Angel said.

"I watch out. I am vigilant to the best of my ability," said Susan Sensemann, another shopper.

Oakbrook Center Mall released a statement Thursday saying, "We ask all queries be directed to the Oakbrook Police Department way, as this is an ongoing investigation. Please know the safety of our guests and employees is always of the utmost importance and we are taking the necessary steps to ensure incidents like this are prevented in the future."
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