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Chicago carjackings give rideshare drivers pause; ‘A lot of drivers are just not driving at night’

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    CHICAGO (WBBM) — Are rideshare drivers moving targets?

Some rideshare drivers told CBS 2 they’re increasingly afraid to get behind the wheel because of Chicago crime. And some have stopped giving rides altogether.

CBS 2’s Lauren Victory digs into some serious cases in 2020 and a recent rideshare carjacking spree.

Four drivers were hit in five days in the Roseland neighborhood. Police said they’re increasing patrols there and still looking for surveillance video.

“I just hope it’s not me. I just hope it’s not me,” said George. He’s one of several drivers who agree life on the road has gotten scary.

“In normal times, you’d hear about maybe two or three incidents (a year),” said Mark, another driver.

But now in the last week, reports of four Uber or Lyft carjackings happened in a week. Each driver was ordered out of his or her car at gunpoint near 114th and Martin Luther King Drive. Have the drivers made changes to their routine as a result of the carjackings? They all said yes.

“A lot of drivers are just not driving at night,” said another driver who didn’t want to be identified.

But they’re not necessarily safe in broad daylight either. CBS 2 took a closer look at police reports that showed a number of daytime carjackings.

“‘You know what this.’ That’s what a teenager with a gun told a Lyft driver on South Spaulding Avenue one July afternoon. On the same block, a few months later, an Uber passenger began to strike victim approximately four times in the face, while his buddy then hit the driver across the back of the head with the handgun. That incident happened around 4:45pm.

CBS 2 found two other rideshare carjackings in the same area of North Lawndale. Police aren’t sure if they’re connected. Records through mid November show 13 carjackings, specifically of rideshare drivers in 2020 but the stats might be incomplete.

Whatever the reason for the discrepancy, forget five stars. One driver CBS 2 spoke to isn’t waiting around.

“If you’re not out of here in five minutes, I’m out of here. See ya,” said rideshare driver George.

There are often comments on social media asking why police can’t find a suspects if the carjacker booked a ride?

The drivers CBS 2 spoke with are part of the group Gig Workers Matter and said they’ve heard many instances where those passenger profiles turn out to be fakes.

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Article Topic Follows: Regional News

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