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Waukegan police arrest three in carjacking murder

Carlos Hernandez 44 Waukegan died carjacking Waukegan Thursday Dec. 29 2011. This phowas handed out by family. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times

Carlos Hernandez, 44, of Waukegan died in a carjacking in Waukegan on Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011. This photo was handed out by the family. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 31, 2012 8:25AM

Three men were arrested in an apparent carjacking that left a Waukegan man shot dead early Thursday, Waukegan police said.

Carlos Hernandez, 44, of the 400 block of Hickory Street, was either preparing to get into the car or was already inside when the men approached, according to the family. The men shoved Hernandez back into the car and sped off.

“About a block away, there was a struggle,” Waukegan Police Chief Dan Greathouse said. “The victim was shot twice in the stomach.”

Dozens of uniformed officers and detectives spent nearly seven hours ferreting out the suspects who were hiding inside apartments in Lakeside Towers, a low-income high-rise in downtown Waukegan.

While charges have not yet been filed, Waukegan Police Chief Dan Greathouse said the “three thugs” were walking at about 6 a.m., on their way to buy cigarettes, when they spotted a car, its engine running, in the driveway of the victim’s home.

Police were alerted around 6:20 a.m. and soon discovered Hernandez’s body, which had been pushed from the car. Police also discovered the stolen 2003 dark blue Cadillac nearby — abandoned in the driveway of a home.

Police were led to the Towers by a police dog tracking a scent.

Police went floor by floor, searching each apartment. A building security guard also helped to identify the men, whom she knew by their nicknames.

The first two suspects were located “relatively quickly,” Greathouse said. The first was “talked out” after he was found in girlfriend’s apartment on the fourth floor. The second was discovered hiding in an eighth-floor apartment, a mirror pulled on top of him.

The third man was discovered between the eighth and ninth floors, wedged inside a vent. It took time to dislodge him, with responders called in to cut through the wall.

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