BUCKTOWN — A 75-year-old woman had her new car stolen from her Sunday morning when a robber pulled her keys off a lanyard around her neck, got into her car in a parking spot reserved for people with disabilities, and drove off.
The robbery happened around 10:30 a.m. in the 2000 block of West Cortland Street in Bucktown, according to Officer Christine Calace, a Chicago Police Department pokeswoman.
The victim, who declined to be named, told DNAinfo she had just walked across the street to deliver mail to a neighbor that had been mistakenly delivered to her. As she was returning home, she was approached by a man who tugged at the lanyard on her neck that contained her car keys.
"The kid was tall. He grabbed me by the lanyard and took it," she said.
The woman, who walks with a cane, was near her white 2017 Dodge Caravan SE — parked in a reserved space in front of the home she has lived in for more than 44 years.
The thief jumped into her car and drove off, heading west on Cortland Street before turning south on Hoyne Avenue.
She described the robber as black, in his middle to late 20s, tall and thin and wearing black pants and a black or navy sweatshirt. He didn't say anything when he pulled on her lanyard, she said.
"I thought about taking my cane and hitting the front windshield and trying to stand in front of the car, but I stopped. It's not worth it," the woman said, adding, "It all happened so fast."
In addition to her car keys, the lanyard contained a plastic grocery store rewards card, which scraped her skin and caused minor bleeding when it was yanked off her.
She declined medical attention when police arrived.
The woman and her husband just bought the car last week, after their 2006 sedan had been sideswiped by an Uber driver and totaled in August.
"[The new car] had 105 miles on it and a full tank of gas. I think I'm more upset about that. I'm sure it's going to be found. I don't doubt that for a minute. I don't know what condition it will be in. I hope they don't drive it into a wall," she said.
The stolen van has an accessible parking sticker on it with a wheelchair logo and a unique license plate: GILL42.
A witness who lives three doors away from the victim said he has known the woman and her husband for many years. He and other neighbors said they shared video footage of their block with police, who they are hoping will release photos of possible suspects.
"This was so unexpected, on a Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. It's terrible. What else is there to say? " the neighbor said.