Chicago Police Warn that ‘Bump-and-Run’ Carjackings Continue to Rise

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 07: Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson announces his retirement during a news conference with Mayor Lori Lightfoot at the Chicago Police Department's headquarters November 7, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Johnson who will retire at the end of the year was promoted to Superintendent in 2016 …
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The Chicago Police Department (CPD) issued a warning for motorists to beware of a rise in “bump-and-run” carjacking tactics, where criminals bump into a car and then steal the vehicle when drivers get out to review possible damage.

The CPD reported nearly two dozen bump-and-run carjackings during the end of July and into August.

Officials said the criminal will bump into the back of another car. Then, one of their cohorts will exit the vehicle, jump into the victim’s car, and drive off when motorists leave their vehicle to look at possible damage and exchange insurance information. The criminals leave the driver standing in the road as they drive off in the assaulting auto and the victim’s car.

There have already been more than one thousand carjackings in Chicago year to date, according to CBS 2.

CBS also reported that five bump-and-run incidents were reported between Saturday, August 21, and Monday.

Police say it is difficult to know exactly what to do during a carjacking, especially if confronted by an armed assailant. The best move is not to resist an armed carjacker, the CPD insisted.

“Trust your instincts,” Chicago Police Sgt. Peter Amelio, who leads one of the CPD’s Vehicular Hijacking Task Force teams, told CBS. “They’re not so much concerned about who the victim is. I mean, they’ll do it to a 25-year-old male, or they’ll do it to a 70-year-old woman. It doesn’t matter.”

Officials also warn drivers to be very aware of their surroundings. The police warn drivers to look carefully at who is walking up to their car door and not immediately roll down a window or open a door. Be prepared to drive away without engaging the criminal if it is safe to do so. Amelio also asked drivers to take stock of where CPD stations are in their neighborhoods.

“They’ll bump a car in traffic, make it appear like an accident – and then when you pull over, they’ll carjack you,” Amelio said. “If a situation like that happens and you’re bumped in traffic, and you don’t trust it, know where the nearest police station is and drive there.”

The CPD also announced plans to expand its carjacking task force by this fall. The department already added 40 officers to the unit.

“As you might know, last fall, we had a spike in vehicle hijackings that carried over into the next year, into this year. So we want to try to anticipate some of that may be happening again this year and add more resources in anticipation of likely a continued spike in carjackings,” Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said at a press conference last week.

CBS noted that “Chicago Police have arrested 895 people in connection to carjackings; including 215 arrests for vehicular hijacking charges, 251 arrests for possession of a stolen vehicle charges, and 429 arrests for criminal trespass to a vehicle charges. The superintendent said the 215 vehicular hijacking arrests are a 79% increase over 2020.”

Brown added that many carjackers are “doing it for fun,” but they can also get nearly $5,000 and more for a stolen newer model car.

The CPD task force cooperates with suburban police departments, the Cook County Sheriff’s office, and U.S. Homeland Security.

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