Two brazen carjackings Tuesday: Valet driver and Chicago high school teacher

Two brazen, daytime carjackings are under investigation by Chicago police.

Thieves targeted a West Side teacher right outside her school as students were arriving for classes, and a valet in River North in the middle of the afternoon.

Both carjackings Tuesday put a lot of people on alert, including an entire student body. People at both locations where the carjackings happened say the crimes led to things they were not expecting to see.

A busy corridor near Wacker Drive and State Street in River North is where police say one of the crimes started with two suspects and a single demand.

“He brandished a gun to the valet service [and the] offenders took some keys from the box,” said Chicago Police Officer Jose Jara.

From there, everything took off. The suspects sped away in a 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the valet followed in a second vehicle while giving location information to police. The chase continued through the Near North Side as the Jeep hit several vehicles along the way.

The suspects bailed when their car hit a truck near Illinois Street and Kingsbury. Police found them with help from citizens stopping one suspect and pointing out the other.

“They would have got away had we not had help from citizens,” Officer Jara said.

A separate carjacking happened outside Whitney Young High School at about 8 a.m., according to police, when a teenage suspect approached a female teacher sitting in her car in the staff parking lot to ask for help. He got away with her car and personal items after they say he pulled a gun on her.

“The carjackings haven't stopped since last year. It’s just a steady increase,” said crisis responder Andrew Holmes.

Both incidents are an unfortunate reminder of big city life, said a couple visiting from Germany.

“It’s normal for a big town,” said Engine Flamme.

Police have both suspects – one juvenile and an adult – in the River North carjacking in custody. Charges are pending.

Chicago Police announced Wednesday morning that a person of interest was in custody in connection to the Whitney Young carjacking. Charges are currently pending against the suspect, police said.

Police are seeking two people involved in an armed robbery last week in Fernwood on the South Side.

About 10 a.m. May 13, two males came up behind two people doing plumbing work in a homeowner’s yard in the 10200 block of South Wentworth Avenue, Chicago police said.

One male put a 9mm handgun against a person’s back, telling them to “relax” and put their hands up, police said. They went through the people’s pockets, taking money and personal items.

The suspects are described as 18 to 20 years old, police said. One was wearing a red and blue Chicago Cubs sweatshirt and has a 9mm handgun with an extended clip. The other was wearing a dark blue hoodie.

Anyone with information should contact Area South detectives at 312-747-8273.