While Chicago often makes national news for the number of shootings in the city, one crime has been slowly becoming more popular over the past few years: carjackings.
WGN News reports that there were over 1000 carjackings in the city of Chicago in 2017, the highest number in a decade.
To help combat this rising crime, Chicago police held a meeting on Monday with members of the Illinois State Police, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the FBI, and other law enforcement officials.
Full details of the meeting will be released next week. “We’re frustrated just as well as you guys are,” CPD Chief Noel Sanchez told ABC 7 Chicago. But ABC notes that police don’t see carjackings as a serious enough crime to pursue investigations in.
Often times, alleged carjackers will not be kept in custody or prosecuted. If the suspects are juveniles, they will be quickly released into the custody of their parents.
While carjacking itself needs to be recognized for the serious crime it is on its own, often times carjackings lead to other crimes. The aim of the task force is to bring about change locally and federally, with the hopes of cracking down on gangs and illegal weapons sales.
“We would have to identify a gang, a particular gang, that’s involved in carjackings and then we’ll look at potential federal charges to charge them with conspiracy to commit these violent acts,” said Celenez Nuñez of the ATF.
So far in 2018, there have been 86 reported carjackings. This includes a teacher carjacked at gunpoint in the South Suburbs, and off-duty officer carjacked in Bucktown in daylight, and a 72-year-old grandmother who was sitting in her car outside of a church in Portage Park.