On November 15, 2017 at approximately 4:12 pm, the River Forest Police responded to a Vehicular Hijacking that had just occurred at 800 N. Harlem Avenue (TCF Bank). The victim reported that he had exited his running vehicle in the parking lot and began wiping dirt from the vehicle. The adult offender, Shannon D. Mitchell 20-years of age of Chicago, exited a 2013 Kia Soul that was occupied by two Juvenile Offenders. The Kia Soul had been previously stolen from Chicago. Mitchell entered the victim’s vehicle through the passenger’s side front door and crawled into the driver’s seat. Mitchell began driving away while the victim was attempting to re-enter his car. The victim was briefly dragged and then fell to the ground in the bank parking lot as Mitchell fled south onto Harlem Avenue.

The victim contacted police and the information was broadcasted via police radio. The stolen vehicle, driven by Mitchell, was observed by a Forest Park Police Officer near Harlem Avenue and Jackson in Forest Park. The Officer activated his emergency equipment in an effort to stop the vehicle. The vehicle accelerated in an attempt to flee from the Officer and subsequently was caught in rush hour traffic, rear-ending a car on Harlem Avenue near Jackson. Mitchell fled from the vehicle on foot. Officers pursued Mitchell and eventually took him into custody. The victim was brought to the arrest location and positively identified Mitchell as the offender. The victim was transported to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

Mitchell, who is currently on Parole for a narcotics related conviction, was charged with Vehicular Hijacking and Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle after the case was presented to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Felony Review Unit. Mitchell was held for Bond Hearing with a Preliminary Felony Court Date scheduled for late November.

The two Juvenile Offenders in the Kia Soul were spotted by Oak Park Police Units in Chicago after abandoning their stolen car. Both were arrested and the stolen Kia Soul was recovered on the 900 block of S. Menard in Chicago. Both Juveniles have been petitioned to Juvenile Court.

The public is reminded that a signed complaint is not evidence of guilt, and that all defendants in a criminal case are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

The River Forest Police Department Reminds the Village to observe the following safety tips:

  • Always have your mobile phone handy and charged.
  • Avoid being alone in your vehicle in high crime neighborhoods, isolated roads and intersections and desolate areas of parking lots. 
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Never leave a car running while going into a business or residence.
  • Never leave children alone or valuables highly visible to onlookers in a running car.     
  • Be wary of how carjackers lure victims. These include bumping your car, pretending to be stranded motorists or flashing their lights as if there were something wrong with your car.
  • Practice safe parking and defensive driving.  
  • Don't sit in your car with the door unlocked or the windows rolled down in public areas. 
  • Don’t stop at isolated ATMs, stores, gas stations, or other businesses where your risks increase of being a victim.
  • If a Vehicular Hijacking occurs, just give the thieves what they want, your life and safety is worth much more!