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Cars Swiped In 'Bump-And-Run' Scheme After Rear-End Accidents, Police Say

By Kelly Bauer | April 14, 2017 2:14pm

CHICAGO — Two men are bumping into people's cars in order to steal them, police said.

The scheme works this way, according to Chicago police: One of the men rear-ends the victim's car, and when the victim gets out to inspect the damage, a second man gets into the victim's car and drives away with it.

The practice is known as "bumping" or "bump-and-run" in some places.

The car thefts occurred at:

• 5:25 p.m. April 7 in the 1100 block of South Racine Avenue

• 7:30 p.m. Monday in the 400 block of North Damen Avenue

The thieves were described as two black men about 25 years old, 5-foot-4 to 5-foot-6 and weighing 140 to 160 pounds, police said. One thief possibly has a scar on his face.

Anyone with information about the thefts is asked to call police at 312-747-8382.I

In Baltimore last year, six teens were arrested in a series of such thefts, and the city's commissioner created a task force. A rash of bump-and-runs hit Milwaukee in 2015.

In Ohio last year, a victim described being bumped near her job at a hospital. 

“I get out of my car to check the damage,” she told a Cleveland TV station. “He gets in, shuts the door, locks it. I go up to the door trying to yell at him to get out, and he just books it.”

The Anti-Crime Vehicle Association of Minnesota lists bump-and-runs as a form of carjacking designed to distract drivers.

"People have been conditioned to pull over to exchange information after an accident. This creates the perfect opportunity for a car thief," the association said.

A variation is called the Good Samaritan in which "the bad guys stage a fake accident" hoping for someone to stop to help. The Good Samaritan's car is stolen when he or she gets out to assist, the association said.

The association also lists "the Fake Out," when a car thief drives next to another car, waves to get the driver's attention and indicates there is a problem with the vehicle. When the victim pulls over, the thieves steal the victim's car.