Boy steals elderly woman's car, drops her off at home

The bad news is he stole a car with an 88-year-old woman inside.  The good news is he dropped the woman off at home before continuing his joyride.

A 14-year-old Park Ridge boy has been charged with felony carjacking and it's the fifth time he's been charged with stealing a car.

It all started Wednesday evening when a family stopped at a Walgreens at Touhy and Cumberland in Park Ridge, leaving the elderly woman in the back seat of the running car.

"They went into the store to make a couple quick purchases, came out and the car was gone.So they immediately called 911," said Deputy Chief Lou Jogmen of the Park Ridge Police Department.

     Park Ridge detectives had a hunch it might be related to a series of car thefts in recent weeks in which the vehicles were eventually recovered near the intersection of Belmont and Harlem on Chicago's Northwest Side. They headed in that direction, and found the car.

     Believing the elderly woman might still be inside, they were reluctant to start a police chase.  Instead, the detectives coordinated with Chicago Police, who managed to curb the car at the corner of Lawrence and Austin.  They were stunned to find it was being driven by a 14-year-old boy, and that he had dropped the elderly woman off at home. When police checked the woman's home in Norridge, she answered the door, still in shock but physically okay.

"We're very happy she was okay. But you have to imagine that she was terrified, scared when somebody jumped into her car and took her for a ride. She didn't know where she was going to end up," Jogmen said.

     The boy is being held at the cook county juvenile detention center, charged with aggravated vehicular hijacking.  Earlier this month, he was charged with stealing four other cars in Park Ridge.  Police say he and two other 14-year-olds are responsible for a rash of stolen cars, usually vehicles left running unattended or with the keys in the ignition.

"It can happen anywhere, and we've all done it. You maybe run in and drop off the groceries, leave the car running. it si a crime of opportunity that has facilitated all these car thefts," Jogmen said.

The 14 year old boy was qucikly back on the street after those previous arrests, but not so this time. Police said he'll be held at the juvenile detention center until his next court appearance on April 14.