City needs to get to the bottom of teenage carjacking

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It’s only a matter of time before an armed motorist or police officer kills a teenage carjacker.

I hope it doesn’t happen, but I can see it coming.

And the question that keeps nagging at me is why are we experiencing such a dramatic increase in such a violent act?

Chicago Police reported on Monday that 1,400 car hijackings were committed across Chicago in 2020.

This is a shocking figure considering that the big story of auto theft in 2016 involved South Side gang members linked to the thefts from the suburbs of dozens of luxury cars, which were used in thefts. .

And in 2014, cutting shops were at the center of auto thefts when more than 200 stolen vehicles were found at a South Side cutting shop, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Today, law enforcement is struggling to tackle car hijackings, which often include armed robberies.

Although the motives for some of the car thefts remain the same, most of those arrested are young people between the ages of 15 and 20, according to police.

“What we find is that these carjackings are mostly just children riding bikes in vehicles,” said Howard Ludwig, spokesperson for the Chicago Police Department.

“I haven’t heard of an increase in the number of stolen cars showing up at cutting stores. The first thing we saw was the ride, ”he said.

This does not mean that this crime is not taken seriously.

“These are armed encounters. Often, a carjacking coincides with a theft. The (perpetrators) steal handbags and cell phones. And, yes, vehicles are sometimes used to commit other crimes, ”Ludwig said.

What teenagers on the ride apparently don’t understand is that this is a ride that could ruin their lives.

A 15-year-old boy, one of four suspected car thieves, faces a murder charge for the tragic murder of retired Chicago firefighter Dwain Williams during a car theft in Morgan Park.

Police arrested two 19-year-olds and two 15-year-olds on Tuesday evening during a traffic stop on the West Side after a car hijacking in Noble Square.

Two other carjackings took place that same night in different parts of the city.

The city was lucky.

In every incident since Williams’ tragic death, armed offenders have left with vehicles the owners returned without a fight, which the Police Department urges motorists to do.

“Abandon the vehicle. Don’t get into an argument. People are irreplaceable. Try to remember the suspect – the color of the shoes, clothing, markings, hat or tattoo. With COVID, everyone wears masks, and that makes things more difficult.

Motorists should also be aware of what the police call the “bump and run”.

“What happens is someone is driving and getting caught from the back. When they come out to look at the vehicle, someone in the other vehicle comes out and steals the victim’s vehicle, ”Ludwig said.

“You have to be aware and trust your instincts. If you are going to park your car and something is wrong, go around once more and look for another parking spot, ”he said.

And here’s a no-no that should be common sense, but hey, a lot of us do – park the car and look at our cell phones.

“You are drowning the rest of the world. This is an opportunity for someone to sneak into your blind spot. Park your car and go inside and take care of whatever else you do elsewhere, ”advised Ludwig.

As of Wednesday morning, there had been 225 car hijackings in Chicago. The Chicago Police Department is tackling the problem by adding more manpower.

“Last month, we added 40 officers and four supervisors to focus exclusively on auto hijackings. We are also working with federal prosecutors as well as with Cook County prosecutors and community groups to keep an eye out for children who are on the wrong track, ”Ludwig said.

But that will not be enough.

The adults who have control over these young rebels must control them.

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