Woodridge man charged with kidnapping woman, two children

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John Smith | Illinois Department of Corrections

A man already in prison for armed robbery has been charged with hijacking a woman and her two young children so he could rob her last year in west suburban Woodridge.

John A. Smith, 18, formerly of Woodridge, faces two counts of aggravated vehicular hijacking, one count of aggravated kidnapping and one count of armed robbery, all felonies, according to the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office.

On April 26, 2014, the victim was sitting in her vehicle at the Jewel at 2317 W. 75th St. in Woodridge when a man, armed with a large butcher knife and face covered with a ski mask, got into the passenger side, authorities said at the time.

The woman’s 18-month-old and 3-year-old children were also in the car, police said. He ordered the woman to drive to a nearby bank to get money, which she did.

Smith got away with $45 in U.S. cash and about $100 in Canadian currency, according to a statement from prosecutors.

Smith was later arrested for an unrelated armed robbery in Bolingbrook, and is currently serving a 14-year prison sentence, according to the statement.

Woodridge Police Chief Gina Grady said in the statement that Smith was a person of interest “for some time.”

“The type of brazen behavior alleged in this case will not be tolerated in DuPage County,” State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in the statement. “Thankfully, the victim and her two young children were left physically unharmed.”

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