Lake County Sheriff’s deputies responded about 3:35 p.m. Thursday, February 23, 2023, to a residence in the 16000 block of Route 137, unincorporated Libertyville, for a vehicular hijacking with a two-year-old child still inside the vehicle.
Preliminary investigation shows the 34-year-old victim just returned to her residence. She pulled into her driveway and brought one of her children inside. She came back to her car to retrieve her other child, her two-year-old son, when a white BMW (2000’s model, black bumper, and loud exhaust) pulled into her driveway, behind her car (she was driving a 2021 Volkswagen Atlas).
A man (described as being tall, thin, wearing a grey zip-up hooded sweatshirt, and a light green facemask) exited the passenger side of the BMW and struggled to get into the victim’s Volkswagen, as she tried to keep her two-year-old son safe. The offender battered the woman, knocking her to the ground. He then stole her car with the child inside. He and the driver of the BMW fled from the scene. One of the drivers ran her over as they fled, causing serious injuries to her extremities. The victim was still able to call 911 and sheriff’s deputies immediately responded.
Knowing a child was inside the vehicle, sheriff’s detectives immediately responded to the scene and the general area to search for the Volkswagen.
A short time later, a person working at a business in the 2200 block of Lakeside Drive, Waukegan, called 911 to report they just saw two vehicles enter the parking lot, and the driver of one of the cars abandoned a small child. The drivers of both vehicles then fled. The 911 caller at the business rescued the child from the parking lot, before the child wandered onto the busy roadway. Waukegan Police Officers and sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene. Sheriff’s personnel confirmed the found child was the abducted child.
While searching for the stolen vehicle and endangered child, sheriff’s detectives immediately called Volkswagen Car-Net, in an attempt to track the vehicle. Unfortunately, there was a delay, as Volkswagen Car-Net would not track the vehicle with the abducted child until they received payment to reactivate the tracking device in the stolen Volkswagen.
Sheriff’s deputies located the stolen Volkswagen in a parking lot near Casmir Pulaski and Route 43. The vehicle will be thoroughly processed for trace evidence.
The woman who was battered and run over remains at an area hospital in serious, but stable condition.
Sheriff’s detectives continue looking for the BMW. The BMW was stolen in the past week from a car dealership in Waukegan. If you see the stolen BMW or have any information about this incident please call the Lake County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division at 847-377-4000 or contact Lake County CrimeStoppers at: www.lakecountycrimestoppers.org
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