Chicago carjackings: Juveniles make up shocking number of suspects, youngest was 11 years old

We have an update on a FOX 32 Special Report from Wednesday night regarding law enforcement tackling the Chicago carjacking crisis.

Now, we’re taking a deeper look at the shocking number of teens suspected in these crimes — and we found out age is playing a role in how, when, and if juveniles get charged.

One of the passengers in a carjacked Toyota Rav 4 that police were pursing eventually fled. When Chicago police caught him, they discovered he was 17 years old and then released to his mother.

Sadly, the 17-year-old is not the youngest suspect that members of the carjacking task force have seen. They arrested a well-known 11-year-old that was part of a carjacking crew, and it was not his first time.

"In that specific instance, yes, that was part of a larger crew — a juvenile crew," said Kevin Sellers, sergeant with the Chicago Police Department's carjacking task force.

It’s a huge problem that’s making difficult to slow down the carjackings in Cook County.

"We just got a fresh carjacking in the 2nd district, 2022 Toyota Corolla," said Patrick Donovan, Lieutenant with the Cook County Sheriff’s Department.


The average carjacker is 15 to 25 years old, and frequently police find out it’s not their first time being caught in a stolen ride.

"There’s only 20% of the cases where the individuals are being arrested," said Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. "So you don’t know who that other 80% is, in that 20% there’s a disproportionate number of juveniles involved in it."

From January through June 20th of 2021, there were 756 carjackings in Cook County. For that same time period in 2022, there’s been 834 carjackings.


Sheriff Dart says he’s frustrated with seeing repeat juvenile offenders.

"If there is a carjacking, for example, and the juvenile is not going to be incarcerated while the case is being decided — definitely need to have home monitoring," said Dart.

Just this week Amarion Pope and Jamari Woods, both 18 years old, were arrested for allegedly stealing cars from Hertz at Midway Airport.

According to, Pope is on supervised release from the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice and was convicted of three carjacking cases as a juvenile last year. This year, Pope was convicted in juvenile court of carjacking, possessing a stolen motor vehicle, and aggravated fleeing.

The CWB says Woods is awaiting sentencing for an aggravated vehicular hijacking case in juvenile court.