Number of carjackings skyrocketing in Chicago in 2020

 
 
Updated 11/28/2020 10:35 AM

CHICAGO -- Chicago Police say the number of carjackings has skyrocketed in the city this year.

Heading into the Thanksgiving weekend, police statistics show there have been more than 1,150 carjackings, compared to 507 in all of 2019.

 

Police say a number of factors have contributed to the surge, starting with the fact that suspects can don the same kind of COVID-19 masks so many others are wearing now. That allows them to walk up to the vehicle, yank the driver out, hop inside and drive off without ever showing their faces. That means police are starting many carjacking investigations without a good description of the suspects.

Chicago Police Deputy Chief Brendan Deenihan says another problem is that a growing number of suspects who have been arrested have not yet turned 18. Deenihan told the Chicago Tribune that a change in the state law means that if suspects don't use weapons their cases are not automatically transferred to adult court as they were before the law went into effect in 2016.

Because the consequences are not as severe in juvenile court as in adult court, suspects are released faster from custody and thus back on the street where they commit the same crime again.

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