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Rideshare Drivers Feel Like 'Sitting Ducks' As Chicago Carjacking Crisis Continues

CHICAGO (CBS) -- As Chicago's carjacking crisis continues, rideshare drivers say they feel like sitting ducks, just waiting to become the next victims.

As CBS 2's Charlie De Mar reports all those drivers are getting desperate for help.

A rideshare driver waiting for a fare outside Willis Tower this week didn't stand a chance. He was forced out of his car at gunpoint and carjacked.

Police say those responsible are connected to other violent crimes in recent days.

A 55-year-old rideshare driver was carjacked in Bronzeville. The passengers pulled a gun and told the driver to pull over.

"They are targeting Uber drivers," said rideshare driver Gizelle Floress. "As a woman driving, it's scary as hell."

Floress was carjacked by a customer in November.

"He jammed a gun into my rib cage and told me, 'If you don't want to die you are going to do what I say," she said.

"As you can imagine drivers are freaked out. This is all that they're talking about," said Mark Smithivas of the Independent Drivers Guild. "You know, some are even advocating that you should carry a gun. We don't advocate for that. But it just shows you how desperate and frustrated drivers are right now."

So far this year there have been at least 148 carjackings.

"Next thing you know I got a gun to my head," said rideshare driver James Durkin.

Some rideshare drivers say they have become sitting targets for carjackers and demand more be done from the city to protect them.

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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