Chicago Tribune reporter Peter Nickeas with details on a 9-year-old boy arrested in McDonald's armed robbery and in carjacking. (Posted: March 16, 2013)

A 9-year-old boy arrested and charged with armed robbery at a McDonald's last month was one of four people arrested Thursday night in connection with a carjacking.

Police said charges were denied against the 9-year-old, who was arrested for breaking out the window of a business in January in addition to the armed robbery last month. The 9-year-old was released into the custody of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, police said.

He was in the car with two 15-year-olds and a 14-year-olds Thursday night, when the four were arrested in a carjacking that began about 9:30 p.m. in the 11000 block of Avenue D in the East Side neighborhood on the Southeast Side, police said.

The three older boys were each charged with aggravated vehicular hijacking with a firearm, police said. One of the 15-year-olds, the driver, was charged with aggravated possession of a stolen vehicle.

Police said the group pointed what looked like a rifle – but was actually a pellet gun – at the driver of a 2003 Pontiac Sunfire, then jumped in the Sunfire and took off, police said. A gang enforcement car traveling south on Ewing Avenue near 95th Street saw the northbound car coming toward them, turned around and gave chase.

The chase ended a short time later at 8500 S. Burley Avenue. The four jumped out and tried to run but police had converged on the chase and the teens and 9-year-old were caught a short time later, police said.

The 9-year-old was among three people arrested in connection with the McDonald's robberies, in the 4000 block of East 106th Street near the Chicago Skyway, in early February, police said.

Police said a group of boys, the oldest among them 17, robbed a 12-year-old boy of his cellphone in a bathroom and a second 12-year-old boy in a different part of a restaurant.

Two of the suspects escaped at the time, but police said the 14-year-old arrested Thursday night running from the stolen car was later arrested in connection with the McDonald's armed robbery. He was charged with reckless conduct in that incident.

Police said the 14-year-old lives at the same address as the 9-year-old but it's not clear if they're related.

pnickeas@tribune.com
Twitter: @peternickeas