Carjackings more than double in Chicago from 5 years ago

Carjackings more than double in Chicago from 5 years ago

In a single year, one Chicago neighborhood saw about 1 of every 250 residents carjacked. Carjackings citywide more than doubled in five years.

Chicagoans were carjacked more than twice as often in 2022 as they were five years ago.

Those carjackings were also more violent. A weapon or vulnerable victim was involved in 3 of every 4 carjackings last year versus about 3 of 5 in 2018.

Chicago Police recorded 1,650 vehicular hijackings in 2022. While it was more than double the 2018 number, it was 11% fewer carjackings than reported in 2021.

But residents of the Englewood neighborhood on the city’s South Side became victims much more frequently: roughly one carjacking for every 250 residents in 2022.

Englewood residents reported 98 vehicular hijackings in 2022 – almost six times the average per Chicago neighborhood. They had just 26 in 2018.

The central region of the city containing the Loop, River North, Near North and Near South sides reported the largest percent increase in carjackings. Cases nearly quadrupled from 19 in 2018 to 75 last year.

This March, the wife of CME Group CEO Terry Duffy was carjacked in the middle of the afternoon in the middle of the city. Duffy said Chicago crime also had employees reluctant to give up working at home. Crime coupled with proposed new taxes had him thinking about moving his thousands of employees and trillions in global trades out of Chicago after more than 100 years.

On average, residents of each neighborhood reported about 17 carjackings in 2022. Cases increased in nearly three-quarters of Chicago’s neighborhoods during those five years with the most cases occurring on the West Side.

There are two types of carjackings, with the more serious type involving a weapon or an especially vulnerable victim. Those aggravated vehicular hijackings were 61% of the carjackings in 2018 but last year were over 75%. They totaled 1,247 in 2022, with another 403 cases of vehicular hijackings involving force or the threat of it.

Despite the high-profile carjacking earlier this year of Duffy’s wife, Chicago might be getting some relief. In the first 10 months of 2023, 22% fewer carjackings were reported than during the same period in 2022.

But the decrease does not appear to be from catching carjackers. In 2021, 8% of carjackings resulting in an arrest and nearly 9% in 2022. This year the arrest rate is down to 6% through October.

Addressing rising crime in Chicago starts with reducing the police officer shortage, providing adequate resources for judges determining whether to release or hold people ahead of trial, and ensuring witness protection so police are able to obtain vital information needed to identify and pursue criminals.

If city leaders want to invest in underserved communities, a great place to start would be to ensure every 250th resident isn’t carjacked every year.

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