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Driver carjacked at north suburban Chicago Costco gas station, car found miles away

Growing concern about carjackings at Chicago area gas stations
Growing concern about carjackings at Chicago area gas stations 01:52

NILES, Ill. (CBS) -- A driver was carjacked at a Costco gas station in north suburban Glenview on Wednesday, and the stolen Mercedes was found by investigators a few hours later – miles away in Chicago's North Center neighborhood.

As CBS 2's Sara Machi reported, this is part of a string of gas station carjacking in the last few months – and police have a warning about it.

Wedged into an alley near Western Avenue and Irving Park Road, police around 6 p.m. Wednesday circled a black Mercedes - the engine still running. It matched the description of one stolen roughly six hours earlier in broad daylight.

Glenview police told us they were called to the Costco on Patriot Boulevard just before noon, when the owner of a Mercedes sedan saw someone get into the driver's side of their car, start the vehicle, and start to pull away. Police said that owner tried to get back into their own car through the passenger side, but they fell – and had to be hospitalized for those injuries.

Police say that Mercedes was last seen driving south on the Edens Expressway from Lake Avenue at a high rate of speed.

The issue of Costco robberies has gotten so common that Chicago Ald. Bennett Lawson (44th) warned residents in a recent newsletter that there had been a "recent string of carjackings" at the Costco gas station on Clybourn Avenue – adding, "Many instances of carjackings at this Costco location and other gas stations have taken place when keys have been left in the vehicle."

At the Costco station at 2746 N. Clybourn Ave. – which is not in Lawson's ward, but is in the same Town Hall (19th) police district - we spotted several security guards and two security vehicles.

We reached out to Costco, hoping to talk with them about any increased security, but they denied our request.

Meanwhile, police in north suburban Niles told us that since July 29, they have taken reports for three stolen autos and two attempted stolen autos at the Costco gas station on Melvina Avenu - adding there were no weapons, force, or threats of violence - but each of the vehicles stolen was while their drivers were pumping gas with their engines running. 

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