A carjacking suspect is now facing murder charges after Chicago Police say a crash he caused using a stolen taxi earlier this week on the Near North Side resulted in the death of a 69-year-old woman.
Michael Jorgensen, 29, has been charged with three felonies including murder, vehicular hijacking and aggravated DUI resulting in an accident/death. He also faces two misdemeanor traffic violations.
At around 10:45 p.m. Tuesday night, Jorgensen got into an argument with a 31-year-old male taxi driver on the 200 block of West Walton Street. That dispute ended with Jorgensen allegedly pulling the man from his vehicle, punching him several times and leaving in the man’s car.
Minutes later, that same vehicle was involved in a traffic collision, striking two other vehicles on the 600 block of West Chicago Avenue. That crash resulted in the death of 69-year-old Lincoln Park resident Perla Carandang, according to the Cook County medical examiner, and injuries to a 36-year-old woman who was in another car.
Jorgensen, of Streamwood, was transported to Illinois Masonic Hospital in serious condition. He was later identified by the carjacking victim and placed under arrest.
Carjackings have been on the rise across Chicago after a spike last year when nearly 1,000 such crimes were reported. There have already been more than 100 vehicle thefts this year as of Feb. 8, according to city of Chicago records.
Earlier this month the Chicago Police Department announced it was starting an interagency task force with the FBI, ATF and Illinois State Police aimed at tackling carjacking issues across the city.
Feb. 5: Reports of carjackings rose more than 45 percent in Chicago last year, and through the first weeks of 2018, there have been more than three carjackings reported in the city per day, on average.
Dec. 19: An off-duty police officer shot and wounded a would-be carjacker Monday evening in the Bronzeville neighborhood, according to the Chicago Police Department, which is dealing with an unprecedented spike in vehicle thefts this year.
March 14: Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson joins us to discuss his department’s new policies and the challenges facing Chicago.