Carjackers Rob Bible-Reading Grandmother in Front of Church

January 22, 2018 Updated: January 22, 2018

A 72-year-old Chicago woman had her car hijacked while she was sitting in front a of a church reading her Bible.

The woman was sitting in front of the St. John’s Lutheran Church and School, 4939 W. Montrose Ave., in the Portage Park neighborhood on Chicago’s Northwest Side. She planned to pick up her two grandchildren, who attended the school.

The grandmother parked her white 2010 Toyota Camry and began reading the Bible while waiting for school to let out on Thursday, Jan. 18, when she saw a silver SUV pull up ahead of her, ABC7 reported.

A young man carrying a gun, between 18 and 22 years old in her estimate, jumped out of the truck, opened the door to her car, and yanked her out into the street.

He grabbed the grandmother’s purse from her hands, jumped in her car, and both cars sped away down Montrose Avenue.

The unidentified victim was too scared to talk to media so her daughter, Tracy Baldwin, tried to explain what happened.

“Before she could do anything, he opened the door and he grabbed her arm and took her out of the car—pointed a gun at her chest,” said Baldwin,  told ABC7 Chicago.

“I was just terrified and shocked that that had happened just outside of a school … to someone reading her Bible,” added Baldwin.

“Where else can you feel safe? If you can’t feel safe outside a church and school, where else can you feel safe in the city?” Baldwin asked in an interview with CBS Chicago.

Interim principal at the Lutheran school, Dr. Donald Hendricks, released a statement about the incident.

“After talking with the police department they are currently going to increase their attention to our school on a regular basis particularly between drop off and pick up,” Hendricks said in the statement. “This is a very unusual event for our community. The phrase ‘see something, say something’ will be part of our thinking.”

Police said this is the third carjacking in five days in the city.

Tracy Baldwin had her own message for the carjackers.

“I just want to say to those guys that did it, not in my neighborhood. We’re going to stand up and we’re going to fight back. Turn yourselves in. Do the right thing. Because imagine if it was your mom, or your grandma that this happened to,” Baldwin told ABC7.

“Everyone should be able to feel safe in their neighborhood doing things like that. I think that’s a fundamental right of citizens in any city. Even if you live in Chicago,” she said.


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