Local and federal authorities are scheduled to gather at Chicago Police Department headquarters Monday for the inaugural meeting of a new task force on carjackings.
Supt. Eddie Johnson announced the creation of the specialized task force on Sunday, aimed at combatting a significant increase in the crime.
“We are also looking to take some of these cases for prosecution federally, so we’re not playing around with it,” Johnson said at a news conference Sunday.
“They want to continue to go out there and take the easy path of taking someone’s vehicle, then we’re going to take that path to punish them to the fullest extent we can,” he continued.
Chicago saw nearly 1,000 carjackings in 2017, the most the city has seen in more than a decade, according to police.
Authorities said 86 carjackings took place across Chicago in January, resulting in 32 arrests, compared to 72 carjackings and 12 arrests over the same time period in 2017.
One of the most recent incidents took place Friday night in the city’s Streeterville neighborhood. In that case, cell phone video captured the victim, a retired Chicago police officer, overpowering the suspect and pinning him to the ground.
In that case, three teenage boys were arrested – ages 14, 15 and 17 – and all charged with unlawful possession of stolen vehicle, vehicular hijacking and attempt aggravated battery use of a deadly weapon.
The new task force will involve members of Chicago and suburban police departments, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office, the Cook County Sheriff’s Department, as well as federal authorities, including representatives from both the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The meeting was scheduled to take place at Chicago police headquarters beginning at 11 a.m.