A University Park teenager, 17, was charged with aggravated vehicular hijacking and burglary in connection with an armed carjacking Sunday in Skokie, according to Skokie police.
Skokie police Officer Eric Swaback said the teenager was charged as a juvenile Monday night after being in custody since the incident. He was transferred to the juvenile detention center in Chicago and is awaiting a bond court hearing, he said.
According to Skokie police, the carjacking took place just before 6:55 p.m. Sunday while a woman was parking her vehicle near Keating Avenue and Oakton Street, just east of Skokie Boulevard.
Two males, one armed with a handgun, approached the woman and demanded her possessions, Skokie police Sgt. John Moersfelder said in a news release. She obliged, ran away from her Mercedes and called 911, he said.
According to Moersfelder, Skokie police officers spotted the stolen vehicle at Lockwood Avenue and Conrad Street but it sped away with another car, a Nissan, that was trailing behind and thought to be involved in the carjacking.
Police said the teen charged in the incident was driving the Mercedes.
The Mercedes crashed at the intersection of Dempster Street and Lockwood Avenue when the 17-year-old jumped out and ran, police said. Officers chased him for about a block and took him into custody.
The two other suspected carjackers remain at large as of Tuesday afternoon, after police say they led officers on a 20-plus mile chase to an apartment complex in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago the day of the incident.
Neighboring Wilmette police officers first spotted the Nissan traveling south on the Edens Expressway Sunday and were joined by Skokie police officers and Illinois State Police in the chase, Moersfelder said. A Chicago Police Department helicopter also followed overhead, all leading to an apartment complex in the 4500 block of South Drexel Avenue in Bronzeville.
Officers from Chicago, Skokie and Wilmette searched the apartment complex but were unable to find the carjackers, although the Nissan was recovered there, Moersfelder said.
“The investigation is still ongoing to try to determine who the other players involved were,” Swaback said Tuesday. “We don’t know those people yet.”
Skokie police worked with the Cook County states attorney’s office, which approved the charges against the teen, officials said.
His name was not released because he is a juvenile.
The Skokie carjacking happened about a week after police in the border city of Evanston issued an alert about a recent rise in carjackings and attempted armed vehicle thefts there. in Skokie’s neighboring city over the past week.
“Car thefts and carjackings have been on the rise in the Chicago area. The Evanston Police Department asks citizens to be aware of their surroundings,” Evanston police said in a Feb. 7 news release.
However, Evanston police Cmdr. Ryan Glew said this week that police do not believe the Skokie carjacking is related to the Evanston cases.
“We have been cross-checking information between their carjacking and our carjackings,” Glew said. “We have shared information to see if anything is useful for each other. But it appears that our carjacking suspects are unrelated.”
Skokie police continue to ask anyone with information about Sunday’s carjacking to call the department at 847-982-5900 or submit a tip on the 24-hour hot line at 847-933-8477.