2 carjackings latest in string of North Shore armed robberies

EVANSTON, Ill. -- The Evanston Police Department is investigating two armed carjackings.

Around 9 p.m. Thursday  a 39-year-old woman was sitting in her Mazda in the 1200 block of Fowler when police say she was approached by two black males.  They demanded her car and valuables and brandished a handgun.

“She turned over her keys and they took her keys and her wallet and fled in her vehicle,” Sgt. Dennis Leaks said.

Three hours later and a few blocks away, a 36-year-old woman had just parked her gray Acura, when two men approached, pulled a gun and took her car.

“Police responded to the area and saw the two vehicles traveling eastbound on Harvard Terrace. A pursuit ensued,” Sgt. Leaks said.

The Mazda crashed into a gate in the 200 block of Custer and the suspect ran away.

Officers recovered a loaded 38 caliber revolver in the Mazda.

The Acura from the first carjacking was found in Chicago.

Both vehicles are being processed for evidence.

Neither of the female victims were injured.

Investigators say it’s too early to tell if these carjackings are connected to what regional law enforcement officials say is an “organized ring” of Chicago gang members targeting affluent suburbs on the North Shore.

This summer, there have been dozens of car thefts across the North Shore.  Last week, two armed carjackings were reported in Skokie and Wilmette.

A new task force has been formed to combat the crime wave.   It spans four counties and includes the FBI, the Illinois State Police, the Chicago police, the Cook County Sheriff, the Lake County Sheriff and more than 30 local police departments.

So far there have been no arrests in the Evanston cases.