: Carjackings are up 104% this year in Washington, D.C.

by | Nov 15, 2023 | Stock Market

Keep those car doors locked, everyone. Carjackings are on the rise across the country, according to data from the FBI and local police departments. The FBI recently reported that 25,400 such offenses occurred nationwide in 2022, an 8.1% increase from the previous year.

In Washington, D.C., the situation has become particularly bad. Since the start of the year, 866 carjackings have been reported, according to the city’s police department. That’s an increase of 104% versus the same period in 2022. Among the recent victims in the nation’s capital: U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Democrat who represents an area in South Texas. He was carjacked a few weeks ago outside his apartment building in the city. Three men stole his Toyota, with two of them pointing firearms at him. “You assess these things quickly. You stay calm. These are young people. You don’t want to excite them. You make sure you don’t aggravate anyone. I have a black belt, but you know what you can do and what you can’t do,” Cuellar told the New York Times. What’s prompting the rise in carjacking? Criminologist Bruce Jacobs, who’s based at the University of Texas at Dallas, said in an interview earlier this year that a lot of carjackers are inclined to steal an occupied vehicle versus an unoccupied one because they “don’t like the ambiguity and the uncertainty of a potential victim coming out of their house or their business while they are stealing a car.” With carjacking, “it’s simply a matter of going up to them, displaying the weapon, telling them to get out of the car or throwing them out of the car, and taking the vehicle. It’s very quick,” Jacob said. Still, vehicle owners can take certain steps to protect themselves against being a carjacking victim, experts say. In particular, police in Washington, D.C., advise people to “stay alert and aware” of their surroundings, park in safe spots and, yes, make sure to lock their vehicles. Another tip: Drive in the center lane, so it’s harder for potential carjackers to approach your vehicle. “Always trust your instincts. If the situation doesn’t ‘feel righ …

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