Chicago — If you look up on a clear day in Chicago, you may see them overhead. No, those aren’t incoming Chinese spy balloons. They’re the latest crime statistics from the Chicago Police Department.
Car theft up 151% so far this year. Sexual assaults and robberies up 23% each. Theft up 33%. Of the seven major crime categories CPD tracks, only murder is down.
The police department’s CompStat report, published Tuesday, shows major crime reports up a whopping 104% compared to this point in 2021; 67% compared to 2020; and 66% compared to 2019.
Last month, Lori Lightfoot released a campaign ad claiming that the incumbent mayor has a crime plan and that critics are nothing more than “haters.” Yet, the city’s numbers speak for themselves.
Everyone’s pleased to see 16 fewer murders so far this year. But that’s still 58% higher than right before the last mayoral election in 2019.
From Grant Park to Rogers Park and from Jefferson Park to Wicker Park, nearly all of the city’s police districts are experiencing double-digit increases in major crime this year. One district is up a mind-blowing 114%.
The only district in those areas that’s not up this year is the Central (1st) District, which includes the Loop, South Loop, and Bronzeville. With 29 fewer crime reports this year, the district is down 8%. But it’s still up 136% compared to 2021.
The worst performer? That’s the 20th (Lincoln) District, which includes the north ends of Uptown and Lincoln Square, Edgewater, and Andersonville. Thanks to a stunning 311% increase in auto thefts, total crime reports in the district are up 114% compared to last year and 110% compared to 2019. Only robbery cases are down.
But that brings us to the possibility that some better news may be on the horizon.
Auto theft, driven by the “Kia boys” social media craze, is the category responsible for much of the city’s overall major crime increase. Just under 100 cars per day are being stolen in Chicago this year, an astonishing number that is 283% higher than 2019—thousands and thousands of vehicles.
The surge in car thefts began last July as the “Kia boy” phenomenon arrived in town. Until summer gets here, the city will likely continue to see substantial year-over-year increases. Then, as they say on Wall Street, the “comps” will become more favorable.
Even better: Hyundai and Kia, the two automakers whose vehicles are easily stolen by “Kia boys,” just announced that they’re rolling out a software fix to remedy the design flaw thieves are exploiting.
Between harder-to-steal cars and the Kia boys’ first anniversary this summer, year-over-year crime increases could slow in a few months. Just in time for the next mayor, whoever it is, to claim that their crime-fighting strategies are responsible for the improvement.
What are the crime numbers for your neighborhood? Click the links below to see CPD’s reports for yourself. Note: Listed areas are for general guidance. You can review a city map of police district boundaries here. All CPD statistical reports are available here.