In a 12 months when Chicago struggled with violent crime, 2020 got here to an in depth with carjackings greater than doubling within the metropolis over 12 months to a complete unseen in practically 20 years, reports the Chicago Tribune. Carjackings rose about 135 p.c, to 1,415 in 2020 from 603 in 2019. The 2020 tally was the best determine recorded since 2001, when Chicago logged solely barely extra with 1,422. The spike got here at a time when gun violence additionally skyrocketed as the town struggled with the COVID-19 pandemic and skilled unrest following the Memorial Day dying of George Floyd. Specialists mentioned each seemingly influenced crime totals because the economic system suffered and group belief within the police was severely eroded.
There are seemingly quite a lot of causes for the dramatic rise particularly in carjackings, together with most people’s use of masks for coronavirus safety, enabling criminals to hide their faces with out elevating alarm. Gangs are sometimes in charge, as a result of they generally use stolen automobiles as they commit extra crimes. “The gangs are utilizing these automobiles as a result of they really feel they’ll’t be traced,” mentioned South Chicago Captain Michael Murphy, whose patrol district noticed carjackings leap in 2020 to 97 from 36 the 12 months earlier than. “They will do their crimes, whether or not or not it’s shootings or no matter it’s, after which dump the automobile.” There might have been extra carjackings in 2020 than the town’s figures present. Retired Chicago Fireplace Division Lt. Dwain Williams was shot and killed in early December when assailants tried to carjack him close to a popcorn store, an incident categorized as a murder as an alternative of a carjacking. Later within the month, 33-year-old Shuai Guan was fatally shot close to his house after a carjacker demanded the important thing to his SUV, against the law additionally logged as a murder.