Chicago police boost countermeasures as carjackings spike

Chicago police Superintendent David Brown on Wednesday said 44% of the more than 300 people arrested on motor vehicle-related charges, including carjackings, have been juveniles.

Brown revealed the information as he announced a new section of the Chicago Police Department website. Brown said it includes information on its recently organized carjacking task force, which includes Illinois State Police, the Cook County sheriff’s office and federal law enforcement.

The section allows the public to submit tips, including video, photos and other potential evidence, to aid investigators of carjackings. It also gives tips on how citizens can provide good, detailed descriptions of suspects to 911 operators.


Statistics show that through March 2, there were 348 carjackings in Chicago, more than double the tally at the same time last year.

"We all need to help our young people make better choices and we need mentors to show them the way," Brown said, including family members, teachers and others. "A system of support is the best deterrent. And for those that do offend, we need real consequences."

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart noted the carjacking problem isn’t just plaguing Chicago, but also suburban Cook County, which has many areas that fall under his department’s jurisdiction. Brown also called the carjackings a national phenomenon, pointing out juveniles have been on the street with time on their hands because of schools closed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brown said suspects use the carjacked vehicles to sell for parts and to commit other crimes, but the "No. 1 reason" for carjackings is joy riding.