An unsettling trend is on the rise.
The world seems to be more chaotic than ever. With the pandemic, stifled incomes, and fewer teens in school, police nationwide have noticed an unsettling trend; increased carjackings by young adults and teenagers.
Large cities seem to be the most susceptible to this alarming trend.
In Chicago, carjackings have doubled in 2020 compared to the previous year (about four per day). Similar trends can also be found in Minneapolis where police recorded 405 incidents, a stark increase from 101 in 2019.
The Washington D.C. area experienced 345 carjackings in 2020 alone, compared to 142 the year before. The trend doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon though. So far, D.C. area police have recorded 46 carjackings in early February alone.
Experts say that the rise in crime nationwide can be linked to the increase in unemployment nationwide. But the increase in carjackings is especially stark. The reason being, with more people working from home, burglars are not risking home invasions and thefts. Instead, thieves are resorting to stealing cars, auto parts, and other petty theft.
“To them, it’s just a game, like ‘Grand Theft Auto,’?” Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said in an interview. “They’re extremely young, terrorizing people, and a lot of them feel, ‘It’s just somebody’s car, it’s no big deal.”
So how do you prevent a possible carjacking?
Well, luckily there are a number of precautions you can take.
Some pretty basic tips are to park in well-lit areas, always keep your doors locked, as well as investing in anti-theft devices like a steering column lock.
92% of carjackings occur when the victim is alone so it certainly helps to have passengers with you, especially in high crime areas. Also, be sure to maintain situational awareness and confidence.
Carjackers especially prey on folks who appear lost or unaware of their surroundings. Lastly, in the event of an armed carjacking event, simply comply and leave the car. Your life is worth so much more than your Honda Accord!
Using some common-sense rules you can avoid being a victim. Stay safe, and stay vigilant!