Evanston police are investigating a reported kidnapping attempt on Fowler Avenue Monday afternoon.

Update 2/8/23: Police: Kidnap attempt report was false.

Police Cmdr. Ryan Glew says an 18-year-old woman who lives in the 1200 block of Fowler reported she had just left her home to walk to her workplace in the 2400 block of Main Street about 3:40 p.m. when she was accosted by two men who pulled up in a small newer gray four-door vehicle.

She told police the men grabbed her and picked her up, but she was able to fight and free herself from them and ran on foot to her workplace.

Glew says the victim, who was not injured in the incident, did not know the race or ages of the would-be kidnappers.

But one was wearing a gray hoodie, black pants and a black ski mask. The other was in all black clothing, including a black hoodie and black ski mask.

Glew says police are continuing to investigate the incident. He says the investigation so far has not revealed any continuing threat to the public, but the department advised residents to use caution and report any suspicious circumstances.

If you believe you have information about this investigation, please contact the Evanston Police Detective Bureau at 847-866-5040 or Text-A-Tip to CRIMES (274637) and then start your message with EPDTIP. In the event of an emergency call 9-1-1.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Why doesn’t Evanston PD use whatever manpower and resources they have to patrol known crime hotspots on the west side of Evanston? EPD cars are almost never seen regularly in these areas until after a crime has happened. Someone was shot in the neck on the 1300 block of Fowler this summer, now a broad daylight kidnapping attempt on the 1200 block of Fowler. Also, gunshots have been heard many times and there have been a number of cars stolen recently on the 1400 block of Fowler. The 1400 block of Fowler also used to be a known hotspot of gang activity. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out where police are most needed: Basically the vast majority should be stationed in the 2nd, 5th, and 8th wards. However, Evanston Police are almost NEVER regularly visible in these areas until AFTER a crime has already taken place.

  2. Well said, very true Kevin. To your point: Also on Fowler Avenue: There was also a robbery of a Mailman this summer on Fowler and Nathaniel, just down the block from where this attempted kidnapping happened.

  3. Agree with the above post, Fowler Avenue is certainly a high-crime street. A friend who lives on the 1400 block told me the weekend before last a car was stolen in the 1300 block Saturday evening, then another car was stolen in the 1400 block the next day (Sunday) during normal daylight hours. (This story is confirmed by Evanston Now crime reports.)
    He says the environment on Fowler doesn’t feel safe during the day and night now and he doesn’t like leaving his house unless he absolutely has to. I wouldn’t advise anyone to move to that street with the way things have become over there.

  4. Kevin, talk to your alderperson to learn why EPD may not be as proactive in that neighborhood. It may be residual from the defund efforts a few years ago when our Mayor and City Council tied the hands of EPD to prevent them from “racist” policing tactics.

    You can also call EPD non-emergency 847-866-5000 to learn who your beat officer is. They can be helpful in providing citizens with tips for crime prevention and detection.

    Finally, you and neighbors may want to start a neighborhood watch program if there isn’t one in that area.

  5. Thanks for the tips @CG. Always open to new ideas. I’m just tired of seeing a major crime event happen in Evanston then seeing that it was on Fowler Avenue.

    And the vast majority of the crimes on Fowler have been during the daylight. There is no police presence to deter any of these crimes from happening. I know EPD is short staffed, but coming out into the community and speaking with residents about what is going on and how resources can be used best would make a huge difference. Making decisions from government offices or from the Police Chief’s office is never more accurate and realistic than listening to the people who live their lives on these blocks every day.
    Fowler has definitely been the worst street in Evanston these last 6 months.

  6. I lived in the 1300 Block of Fowler and when I first moved there; neighbors asked why I bought a home there, the crime rate was horrible. Sitting in my dining area one evening, police were raiding the house next door. Well, I decided I was going to take control of my neighborhood, got the Councilman involved, and started having meetings in my home with EPD, the City of Evanston’s various departments. Some neighbors still remember those meetings. We demanded that the gas station close early and not be open all night. We marched and protested with the Chief of EPD with us and Councilman Baptiste brought in neighboring residents to help. The Family that was causing all the problems had to move out. EPD would visit the area sometimes on bikes. Neighbors were telling me that was the 1st time in years they could walk the streets at night and feel safe. Take back your neighborhood residents. Get with your Councilwoman, she certainly will reach out to you.

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