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West Town Carjacking Victim Describes How He Stayed Cool, Survived Ordeal

By Alisa Hauser | August 18, 2017 9:58am | Updated on August 21, 2017 9:45am
 Rex Archambault was carjacked Thursday night while waiting for his wife outside the Noble Grape, police said.
Rex Archambault was carjacked Thursday night while waiting for his wife outside the Noble Grape, police said.
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DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser

WEST TOWN —  While Rex Archambault's wife picked up a bottle of wine inside the Noble Grape at Chicago Avenue and Bishop Street Thursday night, he sat in their BMW X5 outside and waited.

Until a man forced him to give up his car — by pressing a 9 mm gun to Archambault's temple.

"Get your f--- ass out of this car before I blow your brains over the passenger side window," the gunman told the 62-year-old Archambault, who slowly got out of the car as the gun was pressed to him.

Recounting the incident on Friday, Archambault said, "I kept saying to him, 'I'm sorry, sir, take whatever you need, sir, it's [the car] insured, here's my wallet. I was very low-key and did not want to aggravate the situation."

Officer Ana Pacheco, a Chicago Police Department spokeswoman, said the carjacking happened around 10:10 p.m. Thursday in the 1400 block of West Chicago Avenue.

No was injured, and no one is in custody, police said.

The gunman drove off in a gray Chevy Malibu car driven by a fourth man, while two men who were walking near the gunman when he approached Archambault drove off in his BMW, a 2002 model that had just gotten new brakes.

All of the couple's belongings, including Kimberly Archambault's purse left on the passenger seat, were in the BMW — a distinctive periwinkle-colored car no longer produced.

Archambault described the men as "three young kids," black, ages ranging from 15 to 25, all slender and not much taller than 5-foot-10. The group was "very organized" in the way it orchestrated the theft, Archambault said.

The man who put the gun to Archambault's temple was wearing a gray hoodie, light- to medium-colored blue jeans that sagged low and bright-colored shoes, either red or orange.

A second man wore a white shirt and had curly short hair. Archambault said he could not recall specific details about the other two men outside of one wearing a dark shirt and jeans.

Most of all, Archambault, a longtime resident of West Town, said he's thankful his wife was not in the car, which is normally the case when the couple pops by the Noble Grape.

"She stays in the car, and I go in, but I was a little tired and had a long day at work. I asked if she would go in and gave her my credit card. It was an intervention; I always go in. It's a happy ending to what could be worse. With God's help, I made it through the situation by reacting the way I did," he said.

Milan Patel, co-owner of the Noble Grape, said that the Archambaults are regular customers.

"We've never had anything like this happen. It's crazy how much violence is going on around Chicago right now," said Patel, who was reviewing surveillance video on Friday.

On video, a silver or gray car turns off the corner of Bishop and Chicago Avenue and heads westbound, just after Rex Archambault runs inside the store.

The scene after a carjacking. #westtown

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