A Chicago man from the South Side is facing criminal charges after he allegedly carjacked a Porsche and another vehicle that had two children in it on the Near North Side this month.
Caleb Morales, 20, was charged Wednesday with two felony counts of vehicular hijacking, according to Chicago police, after he allegedly forced victims from their vehicles in broad daylight using either a gun or the threat of a weapon.
The first incident occurred at about 2:45 p.m. on Jan. 5, when Morales allegedly got into a 2019 Porsche Cayenne on the 300 block of West Illinois Street. Police said he tried to force the driver from their vehicle by implying he had a weapon.
The victim was “partially forced” from the vehicle, when Morales allegedly began driving off, which threw the victim to the ground, causing them to sustain “several injuries.”
A week later on Jan. 12, Morales attempted to carjack another vehicle, according to police, this time on the 1400 block of West Fulton Street. He allegedly forced the occupants – including two minor children – out of a 2014 Ford Escape at gunpoint.
One of those children was slammed to the ground, police said, before Morales allegedly fled in the vehicle.
Following an “extensive investigation,” Morales was positively identified as the offender, according to police. He is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.
The police department said it saw a double-digit decline in the number of carjackings in 2019, compared to the previous year. According to department figures, there were nearly 600 carjackings in 2019, down from the 760-plus recorded in 2018.
Both those totals are well below the nearly 1,000 carjackings recorded during a spike in 2017. Since then, the CPD, Illinois State Police and the FBI have partnered with state and federal prosecutors to create a joint task force aimed at cracking down on such crimes.