Chicago has experienced a rash of carjackings perpetrated by underage suspects.
Two 14-year-old girls involved in a carjacking placed the driver in a chokehold, forced them out of the vehicle and stole the victim’s personal property Wednesday, the Chicago Police Department said in a news release.
A 14-year-old boy suspected of being involved in multiple carjackings — including one involving an off-duty police officer — and robberies between July and this month was arrested Wednesday following a foot chase. He faces multiple counts of carjacking, robbery with a firearm, aggravated assault and other crimes.
He was on electronic monitoring at the time of his arrest for another charge, police said. In the attack on a 38-year-old off-duty cop, the teen and a 15-year-old were seen by security cameras using a vehicle taken in another carjacking, WMAQ-TV reported.
A teenage boy, 17, is suspected of participating in two carjackings, police said Monday. He was arrested Jan. 23.
The teen carjackers often work in crews and are motivated by joyriding or using the stolen vehicle to commit other crimes, police said. Many have been home from school for nearly a year due to closures amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In January, the police department reported 204 carjackings, according to police figures provided to Fox News.
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The spike in carjackings has raised concerns from law enforcement officials. Tom Weitzel, the police chief in Riverside, just outside Chicago, said he wants to create a regional task force for suburban areas.
“We’ve seen a disturbing number of carjacking’s the past few months in the area surrounding Riverside,” Weitzel told Fox News affiliate WFLD-TV. “This crime is screaming for a regional response,” he said in an interview.