Man arrested for carjacking had a machine gun, per Morton Grove police

One of the two men police arrested in Morton Grove March 8, in a case that involved two Mercedes vehicles carjacked in Aurora, had a machine gun in the car, Morton Grove police said.

The two-car car chase on March 4 through the northern suburb ended with the first car stopping in a quiet residential neighborhood near Georgiana and Smithwood, north of St. Martha’s Church. The occupant fled on foot, and Morton Grove police, with assistance from the Niles, Northbrook, and Skokie police departments and the Cook County Sheriff’s police, used drones and K9s to find him.

The second car was involved in what police called a “significant” crash at the intersection of Lincoln and Austin Avenues.

Police announced they arrested two 19-year-olds, who are accused of trying to leave the scene after police tried to pull them over for driving in stolen Mercedes vehicles in the 6300 block of Dempster Street.

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office has charged Keshawn Hawthorne, of Chicago, with possession of a machine gun and aggravated fleeing and eluding, and Brandon Williams, of Rockford, with fleeing and eluding, per a news release.

Morton Grove Police Commander Dennis Johnson said the gun recovered was a pistol with an extended magazine modified to fire automatically with a single pull of the trigger, which under state law is defined as a machine gun.

Police were alerted through an automated license plate reader system that two Mercedes sedans stolen in carjackings in Aurora were present in Morton Grove on March 4 at 6:14 p.m. Police said Hawthorne drove the first vehicle, which was found near Georgiana Avenue and Smithwood Drive, just south of Dempster Street. Police said Hawthorne fled the vehicle on foot and ran to get to the vehicle driven by Williams.

Morton Grove police located the other Mercedes, driven by Williams, in the 8600 block of Austin Avenue. When police tried to pull that Mercedes over, the driver fled and caused a car crash at the intersection of Lincoln and Austin Avenues.

“There was a second occupant of the first vehicle that got away and the investigation continues into that individual,” Johnson said.

Police said Hawthorne and Williams will have their next pretrial hearing on March 28 at the Skokie Courthouse. An arrest does not constitute a finding of guilt.