Rash of Carjacking Incidents Occurring Across the US

Carjacking Increases in Major Cities Throughout the Nation

Carjackings have increased significantly in major cities across the United States over the past 18 months. Large towns that follow the crime reported an increase in 2020 and 2021, especially as the pandemic took over the country. In California, car theft has surged 24% since Covid, according to a Public Policy Institute of California report.

National Carjacking Statistics in Major Cities

Large cities that saw an increase in carjacking in 2021 include:
  • Oakland saw 200 carjackings, compared to 93 in 2020.
  • New Orleans recorded 281 carjackings, up from 105 in 2018.
  • New York City reported more than 500 carjackings, up from 328 in 2020.
  • Philadelphia recorded over 800 carjackings, up from about 170 in 2015.
  • Chicago reported more than 1,800 carjackings in 2021, the most of any large city.

Who Are the Offenders?

Experts say most of the carjackers are teenagers. The closure of schools with remote learning, the issues within households, and the pandemic stress have contributed to minors having more free time and less stability in their homes.

The report states that carjackings occurred more frequently in areas with poorer internet access and lower school attendance. Officials say the pandemic has normalized public mask-wearing, which provides more opportunity for offenders to catch their victims off guard and makes them more challenging to be identified. They say the young offenders are not keeping the vehicles but are stealing them to commit other crimes such as robberies, shootings, or joyriding around town.

10 Tips to Avoid Being a Carjacking Victim

Since carjacking is a crime of opportunity, the criminals target the most vulnerable people. Knowing what to do and how to respond could be the difference between suffering a serious injury or death and walking away unharmed.

Below are 10 tips you should follow to avoid being a victim of a carjacking:

  1. Park in well-lit areas, near sidewalks, walkways, and around other people.
  2. Avoid parking near large vans, dumpsters, woods, or anything that can limit your visibility.
  3. Avoid parking in tourist hot spots. They are often targeted by potential car burglars.
  4. Drive with someone else in the car, especially at night, and always drive with locked doors.
  5. Leave extra space in front of your vehicle when stopped at a stoplight or in traffic.
  6. Drive in the center lane, which will make it more difficult for carjackers to approach your vehicle.
  7. When leaving or approaching your car, be aware of your surroundings. Be alert, and don’t be distracted by your cellphone.
  8. Do not stop to help stranded vehicles on the side of the road. You can help instead by calling the police.
  9. If you’re involved in a traffic accident, drive to a well-lit area like a gas station to exchange your information.
  10. Trust your instincts. Leave the area immediately if you feel uneasy or if the situation doesn’t feel right.

Note: It is essential to remember that your vehicle is replaceable, but you are not. If you are confronted by a carjacker with a gun or another weapon, give up your car and don’t argue. It is not worth risking your life.

Penalties for Carjacking Offenses in California

Under California Penal Code 215 PC, carjacking is a serious crime. The offense is a felony and carries up to nine years in prison if the perpetrator is found guilty.

Prison time can increase if the following elements are present:

  • There is an injury to the victim
  • A gun was used
  • The offense was gang-related

Under California law, a carjacking conviction is considered a “strike.” That means the defendant must serve at least 85% of their time in prison before the possibility of parole.

Watch YouTube Video: Carjackings Up in Many Major U.S. Cities. The video from NBC News below reports on carjacking incidents occurring in major U.S. cities in 2021.

Personal Injury Lawyers in Sloughhouse, CA 

If you have suffered injuries in an accident through someone else’s fault, you have the right to obtain compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call our experienced Sloughhouse personal injury lawyers today at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice.

Our injury lawyers have helped Sloughhouse and Northern California residents in a variety of accident and wrongful death cases since 1982.

We are proud members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.

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