Chicago police say carjackings are down, but another crime is exploding

By the numbers, Chicago police say carjackings are down despite headlines suggesting otherwise.

According to CPD’s data, carjackings are down across Cook County but car thefts have exploded.

On Tuesday, a 25-year-old woman was violently carjacked in the 1100 block of West Wrightwood Ave.

"My heart goes out for the woman suffered this, it sounds terrifying," said Josh, a Lincoln Park resident.

Josh says his family has lived in the area for years, and that more must be done about crime citywide.

"We know there's crime on the South and West Side, and we've been sheltered from it here. But of course it is going to come here too because you aren't addressing it in ways that are effective," he said.


Chicago police say the work of the Vehicular Hijacking Task Force has led to a 27.4 percent reduction in carjackings, compared to this same time last year. But looking at the numbers for vehicle thefts, there has been an explosion in Chicago.

Over the span of six days in April, 520 cars were stolen — up 48 percent from last year.

And so far this year, 9,218 vehicles were stolen compared to 3,918 for this time last year.

In Cook County, carjackings are down 30 percent.

"If we take down a major carjacking crew, we can see the numbers go down. And these crews could be seven, 14, 25 different individuals, and it's a mixture of juveniles and adults," said Roe Conn, Director of Data Driven Strategy Initiatives.

The task force is helping to cut down on the crimes, but at the same time are forced to cut some of the criminals loose.

"If those kids are 12 and 13, and 14 years old, we have no choice but to just drive them home to their parents. And the bad guys who run the crews here, mostly adults who are running the crews, understand that," Conn said.

Meanwhile, a proposed Illinois bill that the Cook County Sheriff’s Office supports would make carmakers in the state responsible for tracking stolen vehicles.