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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Press Release

Monday, December 16, 2019

Court Orders Detention of Juvenile Accused of Hijacking Car at Gunpoint

Alleged carjacker also suspected in Downers Grove carjacking two weeks later


WHEATON – DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin and Downers Grove Chief of Police Shanon Gillette announced today Judge Brian Jacobs ordered that a juvenile currently on probation for robbery who is charged with hijacking a woman’s car at gunpoint be held in custody until at least his next court appearance. The juvenile appeared at a detention hearing this morning where he was charged with one count of Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking (Class X Felony), one count of Unlawful Use of a Weapon (Class 4 Felony) and one count of Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle (Class 2 Felony). During this morning’s hearing, the State informed the Court of its intention to file a motion to transfer the case to Adult Court.

            On November 30, 2019, officers with the Downers Grove Police Department responded to a call on Prairie Avenue regarding a carjacking. An investigation into the matter revealed that the victim was sitting in the driver’s seat of her vehicle and her daughter was in the front passenger seat when a male subject, later identified as the juvenile, allegedly approached the vehicle. It is alleged that the juvenile drove to DuPage County and while wearing a mask, knocked on the window of the vehicle, displayed a handgun and told the victim “give me the car.” It is further alleged that the victim then threw the car keys to the juvenile and that she and her daughter exited the vehicle. It is alleged that the juvenile then entered the vehicle and drove away. The juvenile was taken into custody on December 13, as Downers Grove Police officers were investigating a second carjacking in the area in which the juvenile was allegedly involved. While the vehicles in that matter have been recovered, the Downers Grove Police Department is dedicating significant resources to solving the case, which remains a top priority.

            “Judge Jacobs’ order to detain this juvenile sends the message that in DuPage County if you commit the type of violent crime alleged in this case you will be caught, you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and if found guilty, you will spend a significant amount of time behind bars,” Berlin said. “I would like to thank the Downers Grove Police Department for their work in identifying and apprehending the suspect in this case. I would also like to thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Kristin Sullivan and Nick Catizone for their work in securing charges against the juvenile.”           

             “I would like to thank the officers of the Downers Grove Police Department for their teamwork and determination throughout this investigation,” Gillette said. “I would also like to thank our law enforcement partners and the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office for their assistance."

            If the juvenile is prosecuted as an adult and found guilty, he faces a minimum penalty of up to twenty-one years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.          
            The juvenile’s next court appearance is scheduled for January 3, 2020.      
            Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the Juvenile’s guilt. The juvenile is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.