Aurora police are seeking information on a series of crimes including carjacking, armed robbery, shootings, car crashes and high-speed chases over a seven-hour period on Saturday.
At about 5:27 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, police responded to an armed robbery call in the 400 block of Pennsylvania Avenue. Upon arrival, they met with a 13-year-old and two 14-year-old girls, who said they were walking with two teenage boys they had just met. When they crossed the street, a green minivan approached at a high rate of speed.
The minivan stopped just north of the group, and a man armed with a handgun and wearing a bandanna over his face got out and demanded their valuables. One of the boys handed over some jewelry, and the suspect ran back to the vehicle, which then sped west on Plum Street from Pennsylvania Avenue.
The ages and identities of the male teens are not known, as they left prior to police arrival.
The girls told police the minivan was occupied by at least two other men. One of the 14-year-olds was treated on-scene by Aurora Fire Department paramedics for a minor injury to her leg, which she sustained when she was hit by the minivan when it approached.
A few minutes later, an Aurora police officer spotted a vehicle matching the description of the green minivan involved in the armed robbery, stopped at a red light heading west on Illinois Avenue at Randall Road. When the occupants saw the officer, the driver accelerated at a high rate of speed with the officer in pursuit. The driver of the minivan ran through several traffic control devices, and the officer ended the pursuit when it was deemed unsafe.
The minivan proceeded to the area of Route 56 and I-88, where the driver boxed in a Ford Taurus driven by a 63-year-old man with his 61-year-old girlfriend. There were a minimum of four occupants in the minivan according to the victims, all of whom jumped out and approached the Taurus.
Two of the suspects were armed with handguns and proceeded to order the man and woman out of the car. The couple complied, and the suspects entered the Taurus and took off west on Route 56. Neither of the victims were injured.
At about 5:49 p.m., the Taurus was involved in a hit-and-run crash at the intersection of Prairie Street and Edgelawn Drive. A 68-year-old woman told police she had just completed her turn from southbound Edgelawn onto eastbound Prairie when her vehicle’s rear fender was hit by the Taurus, which was also eastbound but at a high rate of speed.
Within about three minutes of the crash, police received a call saying the Taurus stopped suddenly in the area of Lake Street and Ridgeway Avenue, and its occupants ran from it. Police believe at least three people were in the car at the time it was abandoned. There were no injuries as a result of the hit-and-run crash, and the 68-year-old woman was the only occupant of her vehicle.
A search of the area did not turn up any of the suspects. The Illinois State Police assisted Aurora police in the investigation of the carjacking and subsequent search for the suspects.
The green minivan used in the armed robbery and involved in the chase was later reported stolen from the 600 block of Gates Avenue. The car theft took place sometime between 9:30 p.m. Friday night and 12:10 p.m. Saturday. The owner had left the vehicle parked on the street, unlocked, with the keys in the cup holder.
At around 10:58 p.m., Saturday, police responded to a call for shots fired in the 100 block of North Ohio Street and learned that several people were fired upon as they sat in an outdoor common area.
The suspects, one of whom was armed, approached the group on foot from behind a home in the 900 block of Fulton Street, opened fire, yelled a gang slogan, and the two ran back to what was later learned to be a Jeep Wrangler that had been reported stolen out of Aurora and parked on Fulton.
A bullet grazed a 10-year old boy in the head as he sat at a picnic table, and several rounds entered the apartment building, but no one else was struck. The boy was treated and released by paramedics at the scene. Police do not believe the family was targeted.
Less than 10 minutes later, suspects matching the same description and driving the same vehicle were involved in a shooting in the 1300 block of Plum Street.
Upon investigation, it was learned that a 52-year-old man had just backed his car out of a friend’s driveway when the same Jeep Wrangler approached from the opposite direction. An argument then ensued between the men before the driver of the Wrangler crashed it head-on into the other car.
The 52-year-old man was then joined by his 49-year-old friend who had witnessed the altercation and the two approached the Jeep, where the four men fought. One of the men in the Jeep proceeded to pull out a handgun and fired several shots, one of which hit the 49-year-old man in the neck.
The suspects got out of the vehicle, and the gunman fired several shots at an SUV that was driving west on Plum Street. The vehicle, which was occupied by five juveniles, was struck twice, but none of the passengers were hit. The suspects ran north through the yards. Police were not able to locate them.
The suspects were both described as Hispanic men in their 20s. The shooter was dressed in dark clothing. The 49-year-old man was taken to an Aurora hospital for treatment and later airlifted to a suburban hospital where his condition was stabilized. He is expected to survive.
The Jeep Wrangler was reported stolen around 10:30 p.m. Saturday from the 600 block of High Street. The owner of the vehicle parked it on the street and left the keys in the ignition.
Aurora police are asking anyone with information on any of the incidents to call them at 630-256-5500 or Aurora Area Crime Stoppers at 630-892-1000. Callers to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and qualify for a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to any arrests.
Tips can also be submitted through the Aurora Police Department’s free app available through iTunes, the Android Market, or Amazon App Store. Simply search for “My Police Department,” find the Aurora Police, and download.
SOURCE: Aurora Police Department news release