CHICAGO - A 13-year-old boy has been hit with a felony charge in connection with a carjacking in November when he allegedly stole a vehicle at gunpoint from a man in Kenwood on the South Side, police said Thursday.
The teen, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile, was arrested Wednesday morning by Chicago Police Department’s Vehicular Hijacking Task Force and charged with one felony count of aggravated vehicular hijacking with a firearm, police said.
Investigators were able to link the teen to a carjacking on Nov. 21, 2020, when he "took a vehicle by force" from a 33-year-old man in the 4700 block of South Woodlawn Avenue, police said.
Police Superintendent David Brown said the boy had turned 13 years old "the day before he put a gun to the victim's head."
He is due to appear in juvenile court on Thursday.
The arrest comes just weeks after CPD announced the creation of the task force that consists of 40 police officers and four sergeants assigned to work across the force's five detective bureaus, the department said.
Carjackings rose approximately 135% in 2020 compared to the previous year. Chicago saw over 180% more carjackings in January than during the same month last year. CPD recorded 218 carjackings this past January -- a staggering spike from the 77 reported during the same time last year, authorities previously told Fox News.
Officials said CPD arrest data show carjackers are most often between the ages of 15 and 20, but arrest records show they are sometimes even younger.
"We’re having 12-year-olds commit these acts now," Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said during a Jan. 21 news conference on the topic. "And we gotta do something together as a city to stop these actions."
The police department’s carjacking task force extends beyond just manpower to include public programs and collaboration with community groups and local, state and federal partners.
"This idea of our officers confronting a 13- and 12-year-old with a gun and the most unthinkable tragedy happens is one of our concerns, but our primary concern, I want to make this clear, is for the victim," Brown said. "And so these consequences, whether you’re young or old, have to be significant in order to discourage this behavior."