Oak Park police report that two attempted carjackings took place in northeast Oak Park – one on North Lombard Avenue and the other on North Austin Boulevard – about 30 minutes apart from one another on the evening of Nov. 28.
One of the victims, an Oak Park woman, reported that two men, one of them armed with a gun, tried to rob her of her vehicle after parking in the 700 block of North Lombard Avenue at about 6:20 p.m.
The woman, who discussed the incident under the condition of anonymity over concerns for her safety, said she had returned home with her 3-year-old daughter, parked the car on the street and got out to retrieve a backpack from the front seat.
Her daughter was still buckled up in a car seat in the back, watching the movie Trolls on her mom's cell phone, the woman said.
"Don't say a word! Shut up! Shut up!" a man screamed, as he held the gun to the temple of the woman's head.
The woman said that in the moment, she thought maybe it was her husband playing a trick on her, but she quickly realized what was happening.
"Give me the keys! Give me the keys! Don't say a word and give me the keys!" the man demanded.
The woman then noticed another, younger male, approximately 16 years old, standing on the walkway leading up to her front door.
"It was a surreal moment," she said. "I was very calm and said, 'Please, my daughter is inside. Please let me get my daughter out.'"
The man with the gun decided it was too much trouble, telling his younger partner, "It's not worth it. Screw it. We're out of here. This is not worth it."
The gunman put the weapon in his pants pocket, and the two fled on foot toward Augusta Street, she said.
"I was just in shock," the woman said. "I got back into the car and locked the door."
Her daughter was completely unaware of what had taken place, the woman said.
She called the Oak Park Police Department, and officers arrived in less than five minutes, the woman said.
"I couldn't believe it happened," she said. "I worried they were going to take the car with my 3-year-old. I thought, 'What's going to happen to my daughter?'"
According to the woman, police informed her that they had received two or three other phone calls within a short period of time reporting other attempted carjackings had taken place in the area, but only one other attempted carjacking could immediately be confirmed.
Oak Park police could not immediately be reached for comment on either of the incidents.
The woman said police drove her to a location about three blocks away from her home, near the intersection of Augusta Street and Austin Boulevard. They had two men in custody, but the woman said she was uncertain whether they were the two who attempted to steal her vehicle.
The woman described them both as black. The gunman was skinny and tall and wore baggy jeans and exposed boxer shorts, which may have been red. His accomplice, who stood on the walkway to her home, was described as wearing a hoodie and "he had this crazy mask" with a "weird design" that only covered his mouth, she said.
The woman speculated that she might have been targeted because of two large trees in front of her house and poor lighting in the area.
"We need light posts," she said. "If there had been a light post in front of my house, maybe they wouldn't have done it."
She said the incident "happened so fast" that she didn't believe it was happening until it was all over.
The woman said she already has a security system at her home but is planning to install better lighting and video monitoring.
She and her husband also plan to petition the village to install a light post on the street near her home.
"You can't see anything after 4:30 p.m.," she said. "My husband and I are going to the village to get the paperwork to get signatures for that."
She added that she is uncertain whether the two individuals the police had in custody were charged with the crime or any of the other alleged carjacking attempts in the area that evening.
In a separate incident, three young men, two approximately between the ages of 17 and 19, attempted to carjack a Chicago man at gunpoint in the 1200 block of North Austin Boulevard at 5:50 p.m., about 30 minutes prior to the attempted carjacking on Lombard.
According to a summary report from the Oak Park Police Department, the victim was in the rear of North Austin, when the three men approached the vehicle.
One of the carjackers walked up to the driver's side window, pointed a black revolver and ordered the victim to give him the car, while trying to open the vehicle's door. The victim then drove off.
All three of the men were black. One had a thin build, wore tan pants and stood between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-8. The second offender was about 6 feet tall, had a thin build and wore a black hoodie with the hood up. No description was given for the third offender.
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