CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Police have issued a new alert about carjackings – they are not just happening more often, but rideshare drivers are now a key target.
On Tuesday, a Lyft driver was kicked out of his own car at gunpoint after picking up two passengers on the city’s West Side.
Police said the 31-year-old man picked up two men for a ride shortly after 3 p.m. in the 2900 block of West Taylor Street, on the cusp of the East Garfield Park and North Lawndale neighborhoods, and during the ride, one of the passengers pulled out a gun and demanded the driver’s property.
The CPD on Tuesday night was alerting rideshare drivers that crooks are now using the service to steal cars. Meanwhile, CBS 2’s Jermont Terry talked to one now-former Uber Eats driver who knows about this trend firsthand.
You won’t see the woman’s face, because, she said, “I’m scared – they have all my information in the car.”
Yet you will hear and read about her frightening ordeal while working as a rideshare delivery driver – a job she said she has held “probably like two, three years.”
But she will not be hitting the road working for Uber Eats or DoorDash anymore.
“No safety,” the woman said. “I feel I’m not safe.”
In late November, the woman went to a McDonald’s in Lawndale to deliver an order.
“I went to pick it up – it was just a bag of medium fries,” she said.
She thought it was odd, but the delivery was a few blocks away. Along for the ride was the woman’s 13-year-old son.
Yet when she got to the address where she was directed to drop off the food – 4130 W. Grenshaw St. – it didn’t exist.
“So I went forward and I went back looking for it,” she said.
Then, a man flagged her down.
“Asked me if I were the Uber Eats I said yes. He said, ‘For Jennifer?’ I said, ‘Yes, for Jennifer,’” the driver said.
The woman went to the back seat to get the bag and handed it over.
“I even told him, ‘Enjoy.’ When I turned to my car to get in, he’s in the back of me with a gun,” the woman said. ‘and he’s saying: ‘Get out the car! Get out of the car!’”
The woman’s son jumped out, unaware the man had a gun at his mom’s back.
“He was trying to save me and I was trying to save him,” she said.
That is because mom caught the robber moving the gun.
“So I’m trying to hold his hand for him not to lift it and shoot my son,” she said.
The carjacker got away with the woman’s sport-utility vehicle, leaving mom and son terrified. And it is a similar scene playing out for drivers across the city.
There was also another incident on Monday. Three teens carjacked an Uber Eats driver near the Eisenhower Expressway ramp to Hamlin Boulevard on the West Side. That driver was knocked over the head after a young lady distracted him.
Police put out alerts in Area Two on the city’s South Side warning all rideshare drivers that carjackers are targeting them specifically – with 10 carjackings of rideshare drivers in three weeks.
“Police do what they have to do, but I guess it’s out of their hands,” the driver who talked to Terry said.
The mom and son were not hurt in the November incident, but she admitted she is uneasy. The Lyft drier who was carjacked by his passengers was not injured either, but the fear is that rideshare drivers may be more than scared.
Police advised everyone to stay alert.
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