Chicago fights carjacking surge with free snacks and videos

What’s a good way to ensure that Chicago’s legions of juvenile carjackers and auto thieves are steered in the right direction?

Did you say, “give them snacks and show them a movie?” Because that’s what’s been happening in the city’s “Criminal Trespass To Vehicle Workshops.”

Officially, CPD calls each session a “station adjustment,” with the “adjustment” supposedly coming in the youngster’s attitude toward stolen cars. Workshops run three to four hours.

Engrossed youngsters teeter on the edges of their seats during a recent “Criminal Trespass To Vehicles Workshop.” | CPD

According to CPD documents, juvenile participants have been arrested in connection with a stolen motor vehicle.

Chicago police boasted about the program on Facebook in November — as the city was racking up 209 vehicular hijackings for the month.

According to CPD, the workshop is a “video interview series” with victims and volunteers who talk about vehicular hijacking, motor vehicle theft, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, and criminal trespass to vehicles.

The post features a photo of three participants watching a video — with snacks and beverage service, of course. And, boy, do the youngsters look attentive!

Participants “complete a series of worksheets between each video module.” Topics include impact and victims, risk factors, legal consequences, impact on family, and preparing for success.

“The workshop…does not involve any physical activity,” police tell the kids’ parents on a permission slip they have to sign.

There’s no word on the program’s recidivism rate, but with the city on-pace to see 3,000 carjackings this year, somebody better restock the chips and pop.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is