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Thieves Steal Jeep With Woman Sleeping Inside In Edgewater As Rash Of Chicago Carjackings, Auto Thefts Continues

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Carjackings are still soaring in Chicago and there was a rash of them this weekend – one of which involved a woman being taken for a scary ride.

In recent days, much talk about the mass shootings that have been happening around Chicago – but the reality is that stolen vehicles and carjackings are still soaring and many victims have been left helpless.

As CBS 2's Jermont Terry reported Sunday night, there was a rash of carjackings and auto thefts just this weekend – including one in Edgewater in which a woman was taken for a scary ride.

The 25-year-old woman was very fortunate. She was asleep in the passenger seat of a sport-utility vehicle when her boyfriend ran into a gas station – and then she awoke to a stranger behind the wheel after someone stole the vehicle with her inside.

At 5:30 a.m., the woman's 32-year-old boyfriend pulled up to the Marathon gas station at Clark Street and Rosemont Avenue in his Jeep SUV. But just as he stopped, another vehicle suddenly parked at a nearby pump.

Video shows the boyfriend leave the Jeep running as he goes inside the store. That is when someone is seen creeping around the pump from that other vehicle, and that guy in turn is seen jumping into the Jeep's driver's side and taking off.

The woman sleeping in the Jeep woke up to find the thief, not her boyfriend, driving her somewhere. When the boyfriend came out of the gas station store, video showed him on his phone looking for his Jeep and girlfriend.

Police said the thief tried throwing the woman out of the now-stolen Jeep, but she refused. Police told us the thief got about two blocks to Clark Street and Devon Avenue and bailed, leaving the Jeep behind.

The thief's buddy in that other vehicle picked him up afterward, and both remained on the run Sunday night. The woman refused medical attention.

Amid those scary moments, carjackings and vehicle thefts keep happening.

In less than a week, police have issued several community alerts.

On Thursday, police warned of a five of six carjackings in West Rogers Park and one more in Budlong Woods, in which a man came up with a semi-automatic handgun and carjacked people who were sitting in their cars or had just gotten out. The attacker also made the victims unlock their phones, and in two cases made the victims change the passwords for their phones. These carjackings happened at the following times and locations:

• At 2:51 a.m. Saturday, July 10, in the 6200 block of North Whipple Street;
• At 7:45 p.m. Monday, July 19, in the 3000 block of West Hood Avenue;
• At 10:30 p.m. Monday, July 19, in the 5200 block of North Washtenaw Avenue;
• At 10:45 p.m. Monday, July 19, in the 2500 block of West Fitch Avenue;
• At 11:15 p.m. Tuesday, July 20, in the 3000 block of West North Shore Avenue;
• At 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 20, in the 7000 block of North Rockwell Street.

The assailant in those incidents was seen wearing a gray hoodie and black-rimmed glasses, dark pants, and a black mask over his nose and mouth.

Meanwhile, an alert went out on Saturday about three carjackings in Englewood and West Englewood. In each incident, the assailants came up to a lone victim who is driving or sitting in a car, displayed handguns, and took the victim's keys. These carjackings happened at the following times and locations:

• At 7:59 p.m. Tuesday, July 13, in the 6700 block of South Morgan Street;
• At 2:15 p.m. Sunday, July 18, in the 6700 block of South Marshfield Avenue;
• At 9:36 p.m. Sunday, July 18, in the 7100 block of South Ashland Avenue.

The assailants in those incidents were estimated to be between 15 and 18 years old.

Meanwhile in Buctkown, gunmen stole a white Infiniti as a man pulled into his garage this week.

And then there was an incident this weekend in which three boys – two of whom were not old enough to drive – were arrested in connection with a carjacking in the Avalon Park neighborhood and a chase that followed.

At 10:27 a.m. Saturday, Chicago Police officers identified a car that had been taken in a carjacking a couple of hours earlier in the 1600 block of East 82nd Street. Officers tried to pull over the car, which went on to hit a parked car in the 6700 block of South Ridgeland Avenue in South Shore.

One boy then got out of the car and was arrested. But the other two boys kept on driving until reaching the intersection of 69th Street and Stony Island Avenue, where they ran a red light and the car was hit by a sport-utility vehicle being driven by a 29-year-old woman.

The other two suspects bailed from the car and were also arrested, police said. Police identified the suspects as boys age 12, 14, and 16.

As for the woman who was taken for that scary ride Edgewater, she was not hurt – though she was shaken up.

Police remind everyone never to leave the car running – even if someone is inside.

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