Chicago man runs charity to help get carjacking victims back on the road

April 7, 2021
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In Chicago last year, more than 1,400 people were carjacked — a crime that’s also spiked in cities across the country.

Edward Padilla’s car was stolen at gunpoint, and the experience put his life on hold.

“Guy told me not to turn around and give him the keys,” Padilla said. “I felt a gun behind my back and a guy telling me to get out of the car.”

Jermaine Jordan says he’s been carjacked three times. He owns a car dealership, a car wash and he operates a restaurant that feeds the hungry. Donations make it all possible.

“You know me being a victim of being carjacked, my heart went out to them,” Jordan said.

The trauma of Jordan’s carjackings never left him, so he decided charity might be the best medicine. “It just floods your heart to be able to help someone else and it feels good,” he said.

He’s so far given away 15 cars to other carjacking victims, all of them complete strangers. The cars are paid for with a combination of his own money and funds he raises on social media.

Padilla drove off with a Chevy. “Tires are brand new, brakes, everything,” Padilla said. “He was like that’s your car. I think Jermaine is like an angel … Yeah, that’s what I consider him — an angel.”

Jordan said he told Padilla, “You don’t have to worry about anything. Just get in and pull off.”

The new car did more than get the father of four back on the road: It forged a friendship through the bond of shared trauma.

“I felt compelled to give away cars to the carjacked victims,” Jordan said. “Yes, I wanted to help.”

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