Carjacking Skyrockets in Chicago
As Carjacking Skyrockets in Chicago fear spreads to areas that are often thought of as safe havens. Chicago is not alone, cities all across the United States are witnessing record increases in auto thefts and carjackings in recent years. This
sudden rise is in contrast to over nearly 20 years of declining numbers.
While both carjackings, and the more common thefts of parked cars, both result in your vehicle being taken; carjacking involves direct confrontation with violent, armed criminals. Chicago police express particular concern, stemming from
that fact that so many of the perpetrators are groups of teenagers who often don’t demonstrate even the level of
restraint found in slightly older criminals, this increases the risk of even cooperating victims being injured or killed.
Carjacking Skyrockets in Chicago, but we are not alone.
David Glawe, president of the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), testified before a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on ways to help turn the tide on this problem.
“Vehicle theft and carjackings are serious offenses that warrant the attention of public officials and policymakers.” “The victims of thefts and carjackings are deserving of being vindicated and seeing that justice is served. And offenders should be held accountable for putting victims and their communities in harm’s way.” said Glawe.
The NICB compiles data on auto thefts, from cities and towns all across America, searching for national trends. They have found that in the past few years, carjackings have substantially risen everywhere they look, but the largest increases have taken place in large cities. There is considerable debate as to why decades of declining crime flipped starting in 2019, many linking the change to Covid, and all of the disruption it caused to the patterns of our daily lives. What is clear is that some cities have seen a disproportionately large increase.
New York 286% increase
Philadelphia 238% increase
Chicago 207% increase
Washington, D.C. 200% increase
New Orleans 159% increase
What can drivers do to avoid carjacking?
While I would love to tell you (and myself) that there are a few steps to follow to avoid being a victim, the truth is there is no way to eliminate risk; the best any of us can do is reduce the odds.
Car Insurance companies and police both stress the importance of the following:
- Always place life over property. Cars can be insured to cover their theft or damage and can be replaced. Forget the moves actors portray in martial arts movies, you don’t have a stunt double and twenty takes to disarm the crook-Just give them the keys.
- Always have your mobile phone handy since it can allow you to call for help but surrender it if the criminal demands it.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Do not sit in your car, at a light, or waiting for a friend, starring at your phone. When coming to a stop, make sure to leave ample room to drive away without being trapped between cars.
- Do not leave your car unlocked (especially with the keys inside) while getting gas or running into a store.
- Keep your windows shut and doors locked when your car is parked, but also when being driven.
- Avoid sitting alone in your vehicle in certain areas, such as high crime neighborhoods, isolated roads and intersections and desolate areas of parking lots.
Everyone is a potential victim.
Statists show that carjackers actually target men over women, and that they usually chose standard vehicles over luxury cars. The most common vehicle stolen is the Toyota Camry, other popular targets include the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Nissan Altima. Perhaps the thieves want to avoid the attention that can come with taking a Ferrari.
Chicago Car Insurance Rates
As Carjacking skyrockets in Chicago, the additional claims drag the cost of car insurance in Chicago higher. While it is true that 77% of vehicles are found, with an average recovery time of 107 hours (just over four days); many have some level of damage, and all cost the insurance companies money. If a vehicle is missing any parts, particularly its Catalytic Converter, the replacements can take weeks or months to come in, and cost thousands of dollars.
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