Yesterday, a meeting took place between the Chicago Police Department, FBI, ATF, and other local and federal agencies to help put a stop to the surge in carjackings that have plagued the city over the last year.
One of the outcomes of the meeting aims to help prevent situations like this one: a teenager who tried to steal a car on Friday was released to the custody of his parents, just to be arrested again two days later for the same crime.
On Friday night, three teenagers, attempted to steal a car that belonged to a Texas Marshal from Dallas who also used to be in a Chicago police officer in the exact neighborhood the attempted crime took place in.
Ricky Fobbs was visiting Chicago from Dallas with his wife. They parked outside the Double Tree hotel in Streeterville where they were staying and were about to head inside to check in.
That’s when a man jumped into their car.
“My reaction was I gotta stop him,” Fobbs told CBS 2 Chicago. “I chased down the car, snatched the passenger and jumped in the car.”
The driver in the car didn’t get very far and eventually crashed into an iron fence. Fobbs eventually subdued the suspect, and three teenagers were arrested on felony charges including vehicular hijacking and attempted aggravated battery.
While there were three teens in that crime who were all arrested and released, one of them was caught again on Sunday in Englewood with a gun in a stolen car.
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson noted the young age of many of the suspects in carjackings and attempted carjackings. “You can’t just give them a slap on the wrist, because when we do that, then the message that we send is we’re not serious about holding them accountable,” he said.
While carjacking itself needs to be recognized for the serious crime it is on its own, often times carjackings lead to other crimes. The task force hopes to bring about change locally and federally, with the hopes of cracking down on gangs and illegal weapons sales.
There were over 1000 carjackings in Chicago in 2017.
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.