Chicago (CBS) — A Chicago woman spoke for the first time Wednesday after she was targeted and robbed by a criminal gang in Bucktown.
The victim told CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot that she was able to stay a little calm throughout the ordeal.
Alicia Fierro, after hearing all the car hijackings and armed robberies on the news, was constantly replaying scenarios in her mind if she was a victim.
He eventually became a victim and thinks the preparations saved his life.
“It feels intrusive and hurtful,” Fierro said.
Fierro was describing how he felt after being the victim of an armed robbery in Bucktown on Monday night. He said he always kept it in the back of his mind that his car might be stolen or robbed.
“‘What would I do?’ Fierro, I chat with myself a lot,” he said, “and I think some of the conversations I’ve had with myself have helped me stay calm the way I am.”
Fierro has always thought of Bucktown as his refuge.
“It’s a very nice neighborhood,” he said. “There are families. There are dogs. It feels good. It’s a feel-good neighborhood.”
But the tranquility that Fierro had come to love about the community was shattered on Monday night.
“I became like this as soon as I saw the gun on me!” he said, raising his hands in the air.
Nest camera video shows the Fierro going up at 8:11pm on Monday. 1900 block of West Wabansia Street. He was driving his white 2013 Range Rover.
Seconds later, a maroon-colored sports car with several men in it came out of the alley. Police said the SUV was involved in the incident. Four crimes in Bucktown and Wicker Park on a Monday night, from car theft to armed robbery with Fierro.
The driver of the maroon SUV was spotted driving east towards Wabansia Avenue and then slowly backed up – ending up right next to Fierro in his SUV.
“They were going backwards and I think they’re going to park on the floor behind me, so I watch them, waiting for my door to open – when he opens the door and comes out with a gun pointing. I,” he said.
“Where is the money?” he said. Where is the money?’ And I said, ‘Everything is in this bag,'” said Fierro. “Then he asked me several times, ‘What is the code?’ asked. and he was talking about my phone, so I told him.”
In the Nest camera video, “Unlock!” A male voice is heard.
The thieves demanded that Fierro unlock his cell phone and the PINs of all his debit cards.
“And nothing I say to myself is worth my life,” Fierro said.
He gave me his phone and bag. The Chicago-based professional photographer said the thieves also took a bag containing $6,000 of camera equipment.
Luckily, they didn’t get the engagement photos he took a few hours ago.
“I’m so grateful for that because that could have hurt me,” Fierro said.
The thieves did not notice that Fierro was wearing a strap around his neck. The strap contained two cameras and lenses worth $11,000.
The newly taken engagement photos were on those cameras.
Although Fierro says he feels victimized on many levels, he is compassionate towards the young men who robbed him.
“My biggest regret is for children who are just sucked into these patterns,” she said.
Fierro said this experience has driven him to make a difference by mentoring young people or through community activism.
“The fire and the change in me,” he said. “We need to come together. We need to come together as a society. Meet your neighbors. Take care of each other.”
As of Wednesday night, no arrests have been made in robberies or other incidents involving the maroon jeep.