ARMED children as young as 10 have been involved in a series of carjackings plaguing Chicago's South Side this week – just as Mayor Lori Lightfoot and President Trump fight over deploying federal troops in the city.
There have been at least 16 carjackings in the South Side since June, with victims saying the perpetrators were gun-toting teens not old enough to take a driving test.
Alyssa Blanchard, one of the victims of the stealing spree, said the violence has reached an all-time high.
“I’m scared to use my garage," Blanchard told Fox 32. "I don’t feel safe in my neighborhood."
Blanchard's stolen BMW was later used to rob another woman just blocks away.
“I don’t want to have to tell my kid about how some young woman was killed or shot with kids using my vehicle. It was traumatizing,” Blanchard, 44, said.
On July 14, Blanchard was approached by two children armed with handguns as she pulled into her alley garage in the peaceful South Side neighborhood of Calumet Heights.
The kids, one which she alleged looked as young as 11, forced her out of her vehicle and took her purse before driving off.
“It was so instantaneous," she said. "I was just scared for my life. I thought, 'this is it.'"
The next day, she saw her BMW being used to carjack a woman's Lexus in the parking lot of Trinity Hospital.
The 21-year-old driver was forced to the ground when four kids exited Blanchard's stolen car and pointed their guns to her head before driving off.
Chicago has seen increased violence in recent weeks during the pandemic, with 63 people shot and 12 killed this week alone in the city.
Trump is fighting to use federal troops in violent cities and he announced on Wednesday he is expanding "Operation Legend" by deploying FBI and other agents to Chicago.
Lightfoot threatened to sue, pointing to viral videos stemming from Portland that appeared to show federal troops using violence against protesters.
In Chicago, the carjackings have skyrocketed in recent days, going from an average of once every few days to a record six on July 18.
Blanchard was able to recover her BMW when the thief crashed the car a few days later.
The elementary school teacher said it was upsetting to see kids violently attack people.
“I teach this age group," Blanchard concluded, "and I can’t believe they would do this."
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