Chicago residents suffered more carjackings in 2017 than in any other year since at least 2007, new statistics released by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) show.
The CPD reported 967 carjackings in 2017 through Dec. 27, a sharp 30 percent increase over 2016’s 682 total, the Chicago Tribune reported Sunday. The past three years have shown a stark upward trend in car thefts after eight consecutive years of decline since 2007, when 898 jackings were reported. The crime rate bottomed out at roughly 300 reports in 2014.
“We constantly look at it, but to just give you a simple answer is difficult,” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told the Tribune. “Sometimes you can’t predict what these (carjackers) are going to do and how they’re going to do it.”
The CPD have joined with the FBI to create a carjacking task force, however. They have reported that one of the most popular carjacking methods is the “bump and run,” where a driver will lightly rear-end another car only for his passenger to steal the vehicle when the owner gets out to inspect the damage.
These incidents almost always include the use of force, with the passenger threatening the owner with a weapon before stepping driving off in the vehicle.
Drivers often get their vehicles back due to police effort or thieves simply ditching the vehicle in a parking lot. A Tribune reporter had her car stolen in early December only for police to recover it a week later when they received reports of a group of teens driving it down a road in the wrong direction.
Another women, Teena Christmas, 63, told the Tribune that she’d had her car stolen in early November. She got into her car and was about to close the door when a robber pointed a gun at her head and ordered her to get out, and she did.
Christmas got her car back on the day after Christmas, when police found it ditched in a parking lot.
“When I got the car back it looked like they had taken it to a car wash. It was so clean inside,” Christmas said. “The only thing that was in there was candy paper and the smell of reefer.”
Her belongings inside the car were gone.
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