by J. J.   Quincannon, The Chicago Times

September 16, 2021

CHICAGO — On Chicago’s Southwest Side, a Bridgeport woman is accused of carjacking a 22-year-old man and robbing a 36-year-old man.

Ellen San, 32, is charged with one count of felony aggravated vehicular hijacking with a firearm and one count of misdemeanor theft.  San was identified as one of the suspects in the alleged carjacking of a 22-year-old man in the 5800 block of South Pulaski.

Additionally, police stated that a 36-year-old man’s personal belongings were taken during the incident.  San was arrested Tuesday and charged. 


by James R. Scott, The Chicago Times

August 16, 2021

CHICAGO — A 70-year-old woman was killed in a botched carjacking on Chicago’s Far South Side. 

Yvonne Ruzich had worked the early morning shift at a neighborhood deli for years, and she was sitting in her car early Monday morning, waiting for her boss to unlock the door, when she was killed.

Ruzich, according to her boyfriend, was a retired street and sanitation worker who wanted to keep busy.  At 4:25 a.m., Ruzich is parked in her car, talking to her stepson in another car, when two men got out of a vehicle behind her.  The two thugs began shooting into Ruzich’s car as she speeds away, in what appears to be a botched carjacking.  Ruzich was hit before losing control of her car a block south and colliding with a pole.

The thugs pursued her and shot her five times more before fleeing the scene.  Customers, family, and stunned Hegewisch residents have been leaving flowers in front of the deli. 


DuPage County State’s Attorney

June 23, 2021

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and Elmhurst Chief of Police Michael Ruth announced today that Judge Brian Jacobs has ordered that a seventeen-year-old Lynwood juvenile accused of stealing a vehicle at gunpoint will be detained until at least his next court appearance. The juvenile has been charged with one count of Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking (Class X Felony) and two counts of Armed Robbery (Class X Felony).

On June 8, 2021, the juvenile and another individual responded to an ad on OfferUP in regard to purchasing a vehicle they saw on the site. The victim allegedly met the juvenile and his accomplice at Crestview Park located at 245 E Crestview Avenue, Elmhurst. It is alleged that after briefly looking at the vehicle, the juvenile and his accomplice requested a test drive. It is alleged that during the test drive, the juvenile sat in the right, rear passenger seat directly behind the victim and the juvenile’s accomplice drove.  It is further alleged that after traveling a short distance, the juvenile pulled out a handgun, placed it to the victim’s left temple and said “do not do anything stupid or I’ll shoot”. It is alleged that the offenders patted down the victim and took his wallet, phone and keys before ordering him out of the car. Once out of the vehicle, the victim flagged down a passing car and used the driver’s phone to call 9-1-1. An investigation conducted by the Elmhurst Police Department led to the juvenile and recovery of the vehicle which was found approximately forty yards from the juvenile’s Lynwood residence. An investigation into the matter continues and anyone with information is asked to call the Elmhurst Police Department at (630) 530-3050.

“The allegations that this juvenile put a gun to the head of a man and threatened him with his life before stealing his car are completely outrageous and will not be tolerated in DuPage County, regardless of the accused’s age,” Berlin said. “I remind the public that if you are selling something over the Internet, take precautions to protect yourself such as always meet during daylight hours in a populated public place that you are familiar with; never meet a prospective buyer alone and if something doesn’t feel right, walk away. I commend the Elmhurst Police Department for their outstanding efforts in identifying the juvenile as a suspect in this case for their continued efforts in keeping our neighborhoods safe. I would also like to thank Assistant State’s Attorney Nick Catizone for his efforts in preparing a strong case against this juvenile.”

“I applaud the efforts of our evidence technicians and personnel who did an outstanding job which ultimately led to the identification and apprehension of the suspect in this case,” Ruth said. “I would also like to thank the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office for their legal guidance.”

The juvenile’s next court appearance is scheduled for June 30, 2021, in front of Judge Jacobs.

Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendant’s guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

DuPage County States Attorney


DuPage County State’s Attorney

June 21, 2021

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin announced today that the second of two adults charged with attempting to steal a vehicle from the garage of a Downers Grove residence has been sentenced to sixteen years in the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). Carlos Hendricks, 22 (d.o.b. 1/7/1999) of Chicago, appeared in court this afternoon where he entered a plea of guilty to one count of Attempt Vehicular Hijacking, a Class 1 Felony. On April 30, 2021, Hendricks’ co-defendant, Lamourice Shepherd, 22, also of Chicago, was sentenced to twelve years in the IDOC following his plea of guilty to the same charge. Last summer, two juveniles also involved each entered a plea of guilty to their roles in the incident and received sentences of an indeterminate period of time not to exceed their twenty-first birthday in the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice. Hendricks entered his plea in front of Judge Daniel Guerin, who handed down the sentence.

On February 6, 2020, at approximately 4:15 a.m., Downers Grove Police Department officers responded to a call of “shots fired” on the 7400 block of Webster. An investigation into the matter alleges that an occupant of the residence was warming up their car when they observed through the front window a vehicle stopped in front of the home with its headlights off. It is alleged that two occupants of the vehicle, which was reported stolen out of Chicago, then exited the vehicle and began walking up the driveway of the victim’s house toward the car that was warming up. It is alleged that at this time, two residents of the home exited their house and confronted the two men. It is further alleged that the men then returned to their vehicle and that one of the juveniles who was an occupant of the vehicle pointed a gun at a female resident of the home and fired one shot in her direction. It is alleged that the vehicle then fled the scene. A short time later, a Darien police officer observed the vehicle allegedly involved in the matter and attempted to stop the vehicle at 75th and Cass in Darien. The vehicle allegedly refused to stop and the Darien police officer continued his pursuit. It is alleged that the vehicle entered northbound I-55 at which time the Illinois State Police continued pursuit. It is further alleged that the vehicle exited the expressway and crashed at Martin Luther King Drive in Chicago. The occupants of the vehicle, Shepherd, Hendricks and the two juveniles were taken into custody at this time. Police also recovered two handguns.

“As of this morning, all those involved in the violent attempt to steal a Downers Grove resident’s car have been brought to justice,” Berlin said. “While violent crimes such as this can leave a community feeling vulnerable, knowing that those responsible will pay for their crimes can go a long way in restoring a community’s sense of security. I commend the Downers Grove and Darien Police Departments as well as the Illinois State Police whose efforts led to the apprehension and detention of all four defendants involved. I would like to thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Joe Lindt and Rob Willis for their efforts in ensuring that Mr. Hendricks and his co-defendant will be held responsible for their crimes.”

Hendricks will be required to serve 50% of his sentence before being eligible for parole.

DuPage County State’s Attorney


by J. J. Quincannon, The Chicago Times

June 18, 2021

CHICAGO — During an attempted carjacking in Gold Coast on the North Side on Thursday night, a 35-year-old man was shot and seriously wounded.  The man was standing on the sidewalk with his girlfriend in the first block of East Chestnut Street at 10:20 p.m. when a man with a gun approached him and demanded the keys to his vehicle, according to Chicago police.  According to authorities, the armed male then shot the 35-year-old in the neck and escaped in a Honda SUV.  The victim was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condition.


DuPage County Sheriff’s Office

April 28, 2021

A Villa Park man is in custody, charged with the April 21 battery and car-jacking of an Amazon delivery driver in unincorporated DuPage County near Villa Park.

Jiovani Villa, 21. (DOB 08/13/99) of the 1600 block of South Michigan Avenue in Villa Park is charged with vehicular hijacking, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, robbery and aggravated battery on a public way. Judge Jeffrey MacKay set bond at $100,000.

The victim reported that he parked his personal vehicle, a blue 2006 Toyota Scion, at about 8:10 p.m. on April 21, in the area of Danby Street and Kirkland Lane in the Brandywine neighborhood to deliver packages. As the Amazon delivery driver returned to his vehicle, an unknown male who was wearing dark colored clothing appeared, pushed the Amazon delivery driver to the ground in the roadway and then stole his vehicle.  The vehicle contained multiple Amazon packages that were rendered undeliverable. An anonymous citizen’s tip led police to Villa.

“Criminals are getting more and more brazen as we see penalties for these violent crimes begin to be reduced. When you reduce penalties, it only makes sense crime will increase,” Sheriff James Mendrick said. “That being said, we’re still DuPage County and we do not tolerate this behavior here.”

The stolen vehicle was located Friday morning, April 23, in the parking lot of a Villa Park motel near the intersection of Roosevelt Road and Ardmore Avenue. Villa was located in the driver seat of the vehicle and was taken into custody without incident by officers from Villa Park and surrounding agencies. Once in the custody of the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office, Villa confessed to hijacking the vehicle as well as opening and selling the Amazon packages found inside the vehicle at a gas station in Chicago.

“I would like to thank Sheriff James Mendrick and his team for the quick identification and apprehension of the suspect in this case,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said. “Their successful efforts send the message to any would-be carjackers that this type of violent crime will not be tolerated in DuPage County.”  

Villa’s next court date is scheduled for 8 a.m. on May 24 in courtroom 4000.

Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendant’s guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

DuPage County Sheriff’s Office