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14-Year-Old Charged In Series Of Chicago Carjackings

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Chicago police have charged a 14-year-old in connection with several carjackings throughout the city.

According to CPD, the teen was taken into custody "after a brief foot pursuit" on Wednesday afternoon around 3:00. Police said he was identified in connection with a number of Chicago carjackings and robberies.

The 14-year-old was charged five felony counts of vehicular hijacking with a firearm, two felony counts of armed robbery with a firearm, one felony count of unlawful use of a weapon, one felony count of possessing a stolen vehicle, one felony count of robbery and one felony count of aggravated assault with use of a deadly weapon.

The incidents include the following locations:

*8800 block of S. Luella Ave.

*1600 block of E. 92nd Pl.

*8900 block of S. Constance Ave.

*600 block of E. Bowen Ave.

*2600 block of E. 91st St.

*7900 block of S. State St.

*8800 block of S. East End Ave.

*8600 block of S. University Ave.

*4400 block of S. Oakenwald Ave.

In the last incident, in North Kenwood near 44th Street and Oakenwald Avenue, an off-duty police officer was getting out of her car when four men with guns exited a red vehicle and took off in her car. Offenders also took the officer's phone and purse. A source tells CBS 2 the officer's gun and star were also taken. She was not injured.

The off-duty officer was the last victim in a series of carjackings, robberies and car thefts police said are connected to a 14-year-old-boy.

The 14-year-old was on electronic monitoring at the time of his arrest. He has a long history in juvenile court where on Thursday a judge ordered that he be held until his next court date.

He was caught by CPD's Vehicular Hijacking Task Force. The same task force that was out on Thursday near Wells and Chicago, posting flyers in car windows, alerting the community to the surge in carjackings.

Prosecutors explained that the teen already had 11 referrals to the juvenile court. He's currently pending sentencing in three possession of a stolen motor vehicle and aggravated battery cases.

He has had three motions to revoke electronic monitoring filed against him and six pending cases that their office is currently reviewing.

The judge told him: "Look, you're 14, you've got an opportunity to change the path you're on in life."

On Wednesday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she prefers proactive interventions to stronger sentences against minors who commit armed carjackings.

"We've got to intervene with these kids. There's no question," Lightfoot said. "And we've got to get them back in school.

"For this particular kid, there are no deterrents," said CBS 2 Legal Analyst and former Cook County prosecutor Irv Miller.

Miller said there was a shift in the 1980s toward charging more juveniles who commute violent crimes as adults. But then in 2016, state law made it more difficult to transfer 15, 16, and 17 year olds to adult court if charged with aggravated carjacking or armed robbery with a gun.

"The pendulums got kind of be somewhere in the middle," Miller said. "It's not just the criminal justice system that's the answer to this. It's family, community and the criminal justice system."

The teen will next appear in juvenile court on February 2.

Miller said the maximum time in detention a juvenile can be held from the date of the detention hearing to the date of the trial is 30 days. He added that the actual maximum penalty for the crimes is confinement to the Juvenile Department of Corrections until the teen would turn 21.

Also on Wednesday, two other teens were arrested in connection with a carjacking and putting a 60-year-old victim in a chokehold.

RELATED: An interactive map at this link shows the change in the number of carjackings in Chicago neighborhoods between 2019 and 2020.

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