As bad as Chicago’s carjacking problem was in 2020, it’s even worse so far in the new year, according to data from the Chicago Police Department.
CPD logged an average of six carjackings per day during the first ten days of 2021, according to the department’s stats. A source said there were 110 cases by midday on January 15.
With 61 vehicular hijacking reports logged through the first 10 days of the year, 2021’s carjacking pace is slightly less than three times the levels seen during the same time periods in 2020 and 2019.
While there’s a long road ahead of us, Chicago will see about 2,200 carjackings this year if the pace is allowed to continue. The city had 1,417 cases last year and 603 in 2019.
According to CPD’s data, the city’s hot spots for carjackings during the first ten days of the year were the Austin neighborhood and Wicker Park.
But there have been many, many more carjackings since then. Wicker Park and Bucktown had at least five hijackings reported from Saturday afternoon into early Sunday morning. Two more were reported in Lincoln Park on Friday night. And a woman successfully foiled an apparent carjacking attempt in Rogers Park on Sunday evening.
In November, CWBChicago first reported about an emerging and troubling trend: Carjackers are luring Uber and Lyft drivers into hijackings by ordering rides on stolen phones. Earlier this month, CPD confirmed our reporting when the department issued a warning about a crime pattern in which ride-hail drivers have been carjacked in Wicker Park
On Sunday, police again warned about the practice after three Uber and Lyft drivers were carjacked in Wicker Park and Bucktown over the weekend.
“This carjacking surge is unacceptable,” Lincoln Park Ald. Michele Smith told her constituents in an email around 5 p.m. Friday. By 8 o’clock, her ward recorded two more hijackings.
“Since December 15, we have received 12 police alerts about 58 carjackings occurring in every corner of the city,” Smith said.
She also announced that her office will host an online community forum about carjackings at 6 p.m. on February 2. The CPD’s chief of detectives, the 18th and 19th police districts’ commanders, and a representative from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office will be participating, the alderman said.
You can register to participate in the forum at this link.