Armed kids as young as 10 car­jack more than a dozen peo­ple since June: po­lice

Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS - BY DAVID STRUETT, CST WIRE RE­PORTER dstruett@sun­times.com | @dstru312

Alyssa Blan­chard was so trau­ma­tized af­ter be­ing car­jacked at gun­point last week out­side her Calumet Heights home that she’s now scared to go out­side.

Chicago po­lice say a group of chil­dren, ages 10 to 17, have car­jacked Blan­chard and at least 15 other peo­ple since late June — wreak­ing havoc on Blan­chard’s gen­er­ally peace­ful South Side neigh­bor­hood.

Po­lice said shots were fired by the sus­pects in two of the car­jack­ings, but no one was hit.

“I’m scared to use my garage. I don’t feel safe in my neigh­bor­hood,” said Blan­chard, an ele­men­tary school teacher at Chicago Pub­lic Schools.

What’s es­pe­cially painful for Blan­chard was see­ing her stolen BMW used the next day to car­jack a woman in the park­ing lot of Trin­ity Hospi­tal, a few blocks from her home, she said.

“I don’t want to have to tell my kid about how some young woman was killed or shot with kids us­ing my ve­hi­cle. It was trau­ma­tiz­ing,” Blan­chard, 44, said.

Blan­chard was car­jacked July 14 while re­turn­ing home in the early evening. As she pulled into her al­ley garage on South Kingston Av­enue, she no­ticed a ve­hi­cle and three or four chil­dren come to­ward her.

Two chil­dren armed with hand­guns pointed them at her head and or­dered her out of her BMW, she said. One looked as young as 11, she said.

“It was so in­stan­ta­neous . . . I was just scared for my life. I thought, ‘This is it,’ ” she said.

They took her purse, which had about $300 in­side, jumped in­side her BMW and drove off, she said.

Blan­chard said the chil­dren used her BMW the next day to car­jack a woman in the park­ing lot of Trin­ity Hospi­tal. In that car­jack­ing, a 21-year-old was seated in her Lexus when four or five teens ex­ited a BMW, two of them con­fronting her with guns, po­lice said.

Two teens forced her to the ground out­side the car, but she grabbed onto a door han­dle and held on un­til the teens drove off, po­lice said. The woman was treated for a foot in­jury.

Blan­chard said po­lice re­cov­ered her BMW, which had been crashed a cou­ple of days af­ter the car­jack­ing.

Blan­chard said she was dis­mayed to see chil­dren in­volved in this type of crime.

“I teach this age group, and I can’t be­lieve they would do this,” she said.

Po­lice pub­lished a com­mu­nity alert Sun­day evening warn­ing of 14 other car­jack­ings tied to the chil­dren.

† June 23, 7200 block of S. Cham­plain Ave.; † July 9, 8000 block of S. In­di­ana Ave.; † Wed­nes­day, 8700 block of S. Stony Is­land Ave.;

† Wed­nes­day, 7500 block of S. Wabash Ave.; † Thurs­day, 9100 block of S. Es­sex Ave.; † Thurs­day, 7300 block of S. Chap­pel Ave.; † Fri­day, 8800 block of S. Luella Ave.; † Fri­day, 8900 block of S. Eu­clid Ave.; † Fri­day, 9100 block of S. Jef­fery Ave.; † Satur­day, 9100 block of S. Eu­clid Ave.; † Satur­day, 8600 block of S. Con­stance Ave.; † Satur­day, 9300 block of S. Pax­ton Ave.; † Satur­day, 9300 block of S. Es­sex Ave.; † Satur­day, 1600 block of E. 92nd Place; † Satur­day, 8100 block of S. In­di­ana Ave. Any­one with in­for­ma­tion is asked to call CPD at (312) 745-4489.

WASHINGTON — Demo­crat Joe Bi­den said Mon­day that he is get­ting ex­ten­sive brief­ings from lawyers vet­ting can­di­dates for vice pres­i­dent and plans to have “per­sonal dis­cus­sions” with his fi­nal choices for run­ning mate.

The pre­sump­tive pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee said on MSNBC’s “The Rei­dOut” that he is get­ting a “two-hour vet­ting re­port” on his VP con­tenders. He said they’ve gone through “about four can­di­dates” so far.

He said once the vet­ting is done, he will nar­row the list and then have a con­ver­sa­tion with each of the re­main­ing can­di­dates.

The for­mer vice pres­i­dent has pledged to choose a woman as his run­ning mate and has said he’ll name her be­fore the Demo­cratic Na­tional Con­ven­tion, which be­gins Aug. 17.

Bi­den has been un­der some pres­sure to choose a Black woman in a nod to the con­stituency’s role as the most depend­able Demo­cratic vot­ers. He would not com­mit Mon­day to se­lect­ing a Black woman when asked on MSNBC, say­ing only: “I am not com­mit­ted to nam­ing any but the peo­ple I have named, and among them there are four Black women. So that de­ci­sion is un­der­way right now.”

Among the Black women Bi­den is be­lieved to be con­sid­er­ing are Cal­i­for­nia Sen. Ka­mala Harris, At­lanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bot­toms, Florida Rep. Val Dem­ings, Cal­i­for­nia Rep. Karen Bass and for­mer Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial Su­san Rice.

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