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Carjackings up more than 50% in Baltimore with more than 200 cases this year; other U.S. cities see increases – Baltimore Sun – Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland 2022-05-27 11:58:34 –

Three young men suddenly appeared in a hoodie and face mask, astonishing a 25-year-old Southeastern Baltimore woman. She wasn’t near anyone else. The car was empty even on the street.

They slammed her on the ground and told her she would die if she shouted. They looked for her pocket and took one thing, her key. They rushed to her 2005 Honda Civic, parked outside her Butcher’s Hill Nagaya, and hurried away.

The February 8 evening attack is part of a surge in carjacking in Baltimore and across the country. So far, the city has recorded an increase of more than 50% in carjacking, with more than 200 cases this year. Carjacking has also increased by 6-38 in Baltimore County this year, urging police to set up the first specialized force in the region to address this issue.

Mark Conway, a member of the Baltimore City Council who represents the North Baltimore districts such as Charles Village, Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello, and Roland Park and chairs the Council’s Public Safety Commission, said: increase.

“People are scared and anxious,” he said.

Due to the surge, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Baltimore field office urges federal law enforcement agencies to strengthen coordination with local agencies “to investigate and confuse severe carjacking rashes in and around the Baltimore region.” bottom.

Some blame the growing youth of joy riding, while others say it may reflect the growing demand for stolen cars and auto parts. In Baltimore, stolen or hijacked cars are often used by other criminal offenders.

The woman, whose key was stolen at Butcher’s Hill, was not arrested in her case and was afraid of her safety, so she asked Baltimore Sun to withhold her name in an interview.

in Other victims of carjacking waves are city police detectivesEarlier this month, three people were knocked outside a South Baltimore store and received an unmarked police car key. Two men, a 24-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy, were arrested shortly after destroying a car on nearby Hanover Street, police said.

Last month the police said Johns Hopkins trauma surgeon on his way to work was shot dead and injured In northeastern Baltimore, when some people stopped him and took off in his car.

Christopher Herrmann, an associate professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, said cities began reporting an increase in hijacking before the pandemic, but the numbers are accelerating. rice field.

“No one knows why,” he said. “There are many reasons why people steal cars.” Some cars can be resold, but often just for the thrill, especially for young suspects, Harman said. rice field.

“They are just full of joy,” Harman said. “Unfortunately, it was the same story in many places.”

Of the 53 carjacking arrests by Baltimore police this year, 29 were boys, Baltimore police said.

Conway said more things need to be done to reverse these trends, such as addressing the causes of individuals, especially young people, trying to use occupied vehicles.

However, some researchers suggest that more vehicles are being disassembled or resold into parts than are used for Joyride. A Report by UChicagoJusticeProjectResearchers at the University of Chicago have found that police in the city have recovered only about 20% of carjacked vehicles. Researchers say the increase in hijacking suggests that it’s not just due to teens seeking thrills.

“If the youth Joyride is actually driving a carjack spike, most cars are expected to be recovered because the point of Joyride is to drive the car and not sell it.” Said the report.

The driving force behind the increase in carjacking in Baltimore is not clear. Baltimore police were unable to find out how many of the 496 vehicles that were hijacked last year were recovered.

According to experts, the change in technology is also due to the increase in hijacking. Keyless ignition systems in many new cars are difficult to steal without key fobs. Thieves are increasingly targeting car owners because they can’t connect cars with heat rays. Often, they sit in front of the car, idle, or distract.

According to Baltimore statistics, car theft and street robbery remain at about the same level as last year, despite the increase in car jacking in the city.

The number of carjacking charges raised in the juvenile system has been fairly flat, with 90 to 100 suspects recorded each year in Baltimore, but juvenile arrests have been steadily declining in recent years. According to the Maryland Juvenile Service Department, carjacking juvenile fees in the city reached 100 last year from 97 in 2020 and plummeted from 2,130 to 1,501 in 2021.

Jenny Eagan, chief lawyer for the juvenile division of the Baltimore Public Defender Office, said some of her clients were attracted to carjacking to help themselves and their families. Many are forced to follow their path or help young siblings and parents who are fighting addiction, or older grandparents. She said several clients accused of hijacking lived in vacant homes.

She said teens are often hired to support larger businesses. They may be able to earn some cash from selling the car to the buyer who resells it immediately.

According to the US Customs and Border Protection, Baltimore Port was ranked second in the country in terms of the number of stolen vehicles recovered in 2020, with 152 units, 310 after New York / New York Harbor.

In recent years, Baltimore Customs has reported that “the number of stolen vehicles recovered has increased significantly.” The recovery rate increased from 41 units in 2015 to 246 units, a record high in 2019. Last year, Customs recovered 157 stolen vehicles. According to the local office, the cars recovered from the port of Baltimore were found to be bound for Guinea, Jordan and Nigeria.

Last year, a man in Howard County was sentenced to seven years in federal prison for exporting a stolen car to Africa. According to a US law firm in Baltimore, Asomah Maamah helped ship at least 17 vehicles, including fraudulently obtained rental cars and vehicles stolen by owners. The prosecution said it had created fraudulent documents for the vehicle and loaded it into a shipping container for export.

Eagan said the arrest of young people by carjacking in Baltimore during the coronavirus pandemic has decreased. Before the pandemic, she said it was impossible for teens to get a job at McDonald’s, but now there are more openings.

Eagan also said that outreach efforts from the mayor’s neighborhood safety and involvement offices, which work more comprehensively with young people and link them to work, training and support, have improved.

“That changes the behavior of my child,” she said. “At the ages of 15 and 14, there are no 17-year-old carjackers,” she said.

Some cities have created specialized police units to address this issue specifically.

The Chicago Police Department first reported some success after establishing a task force of skilled investigators focused on carjacking, Harman said. However, according to recent sector statistics, hijacking is sneaking up again, up 5% so far this year to 630, compared to 600 at the same time last year.

In southeastern Baltimore, some community groups want technology to stop hijackers. The Patterson Park Neighborhood Association has secured state grants to pay license plate readers at various intersections in the southeastern Baltimore community. This technique is operated by Baltimore police to track suspects.

This technology is worried about some privacy advocates, including the American Civil Liberties Union in Maryland. Data from the license plate reader scan is sent to the police server and retained for 18 months according to department policy. The reader captures images of almost every vehicle passing by, but only a few plates can be connected to the required vehicle.

Still, some neighborhood activists believe that the potential of technology outweighs the risk of misuse.

“We need a better network of cameras,” said Arch McCoun, chairman of the neighborhood association’s public safety committee. “It’s the cornerstone of community security.”

McCoun acknowledged the importance of long-term programs aimed at reducing the factors that cause crime, but said residents are currently looking for a solution. He said license plate readers helped Baltimore police arrest two people charged with a deadly December shooting of officer Keona Holly in Curtis Bay, South Baltimore.

McCoun said carjacking is extremely dangerous.

“There can be many potentially fatal errors, not only in the gun threat, but also in the threat posed by the vehicle,” he said. March, judge Two boys sentenced to 30 years in prison For the 2021 killing of 41-year-old Fabian Mendes, who had been hijacked in the Baltimore Highlands district in southeastern Baltimore. Police said Mendes was beaten and dragged in his car.

In the case of a Baltimore police officer who was hijacked earlier this month, police said they had recovered a gun that could have misfired from the scene.

Meanwhile, a woman carjacked at Butchers Hill wonders what happened to her case.

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“I’m not going to update or close it,” she said.

She said she called the police after the car was taken, and they responded immediately. Police officers searched her neighborhood for her information and camera footage of the doorbell. She learned that the carjacker chased her with another Honda, an accord recently taken from someone in the canton, before attacking her.

Police regained her Honda Civic in West Baltimore a few hours later, she said. Police officers on the patrol noticed a car with its headlights on and its doors half-open, and that it had been stolen early that night. The car was checked for fingerprints and other evidence, but the suspect wore gloves.

The engine has been damaged. Her father is replacing the engine, but since then she hasn’t had a car.

She and her boyfriend moved to a safe building at Felspoint with a parking lot.They will stay in the city like everyone else Consider leaving as a result of a crime..

“I really like Baltimore,” she said. “I want to stay.”

Baltimore Sun reporter Darcy Costello contributed to this article.

Carjackings up more than 50% in Baltimore with more than 200 cases this year; other U.S. cities see increases – Baltimore Sun Source link Carjackings up more than 50% in Baltimore with more than 200 cases this year; other U.S. cities see increases – Baltimore Sun

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