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It’s a matter of time before an armed motorist or a police officer kills a teenage carjacker.
I’m hoping that doesn’t happen, but I can see it coming.
And the question that keeps bugging me is why are we experiencing such a dramatic rise in such a violent act?
Chicago police, on Monday, reported 1,400 carjackings were committed across Chicago in 2020.
That’s a shocking number when you consider that the big car theft story in 2016 was one about South Side gang members being linked to thefts from suburbs of dozens of luxury cars, which were used in robberies.
And in 2014, chop shops were at the center of car thefts when more than 200 stolen vehicles were found in a South Side chop shop, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Now law enforcement is struggling to curb carjackings that often include armed robberies.
Although the motives for some of these car thefts remain the same, most arrestees are young people between the ages of 15-20 years, according to police.
“What we find is these carjackings are mostly just kids joyriding in vehicles,” said Howard Ludwig, a spokesman for the Chicago Police Department.
“I’ve not heard of any increase of stolen cars showing up at chop shops. The #1 thing that we have seen is joyriding,” he said.
That doesn’t mean this crime isn’t being taken seriously.
“These are armed encounters. Often a carjacking coincides with robbery. The (perpetrators) are stealing purses and cell phones. And, yes, the vehicles are sometimes used to commit other crimes,” Ludwig said.