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BLOOMINGTON - Police are offering safety tips in the wake of two unrelated weekend carjackings in Bloomington that led to five arrests.

"Always drive with your doors locked. Newer cars can still be opened from the inside in an emergency," said Bloomington police spokesman Dave White.

"People should never get in a car with anyone," he added. "It just makes matters worse. Run, make noise and call attention to what's going on."

The carjackings on Saturday and Sunday nights were attributed to coincidence and not coordinated criminal activity, police said.

"It was just a freak thing that it happened," said White.

Police said three teenagers were arrested shortly after they hijacked a car around 10 p.m. Saturday from a man returning home in the 1000 block of North Prairie Street.

Maurice Richards, 16, of Joliet, and Al Summers, 15, of Bloomington, were charged in adult court Monday with aggravated vehicular hijacking. They each must post $10,000 to be released.

June 29 arraignments were set for both defendants.

Christian Bass, 17, of Joliet, also faces aggravated vehicular hijacking charges. Bass, who automatically was charged as an adult because of his age, was returned to jail in lieu of $25,000 until a June 29 court date.

Prosecutors said the victim in the Saturday incident heard the footsteps of someone running toward him as he stepped out of his 2007 Honda Civic. One person pointed a handgun at the victim and demanded his keys and wallet before ordering him to kneel on the ground.

The three left in the car.

Police arrested the teens in the car near the junction of interstates 55 and 39 on Normal's northern edge. A wallet and 9 mm handgun were found in the car, police said.

Judge Robert Freitag told the three charged with the Saturday carjacking that they could face six to 30 years in prison for the Class X felonies.


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