ROGERS PARK — A teenager who swiped a running minivan in Rogers Park last month drove off even after the minivan's owner dove onto the hood to try to get him to stop, police said.
The 49-year-old owner of the car saw the 17-year-old get in, so he jumped on the hood. But the teen pulled a gun, pointed it at him through the windshield and stepped on the gas, throwing the man off the hood, police said.
It happened just before noon on Sept. 26 in the 1700 block of West North Shore Avenue.
The victim left the 2003 Honda running while he was loading the minivan. That's when he saw the teen get in, police said.
After the teen drove off, he smashed into several parked cars as he sped west on North Shore Avenue, according to the victim and a separate eyewitness. The teen then lost control, careened over a curb and crashed into a fence protecting the Metra tracks on the far side of the intersection with North Ravenswood Avenue, police said.
The witness, a 26-year-old man, told officers he had chased after the driver as he abandoned the van, watching him pull off a hooded sweatshirt as he ran. The chase went south four blocks to Albion Avenue, where it turned east. The witness said he lost sight of the driver near the intersection of Albion with North Ashland Avenue.
Officers responding to the hijacking spotted the teenager with a towel wrapped around his head on Albion Avenue near North Bosworth Avenue and arrested him. The victim and witness both identified him as the man who had stolen the vehicle and then crashed it, police said.
Inside the crippled van police recovered a cellphone belonging to the teen, according to the report. They recovered a black hooded sweatshirt and burglary tools from his backpack. The gun allegedly used in the robbery was not found.
Officers said they contacted the teenager’s grandmother, who said he stays with her from time to time but that she considers him homeless. Neither the teen or his grandmother were in contact with the boy’s mother, police said.
The 17-year-old was charged with vehicular hijacking, though according to the police department further charges were possible pending a detective’s investigation.
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