The Chicago Police Department announced Wednesday the launch of a new website for combating the city's continuous carjackings, providing a space to better report the crimes and view photographs of offenders.
During a press conference, CPD Supt. David Brown said the website includes recent releases, booking photos of offenders and prevention tips, as well as the best way to report.
"This year, 323 individuals have been arrested for such charges with include vehicular carjackings, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and criminal trespassing," Brown said.
Brown noted that juvenile offenders' faces would be blurred in the photos on the web page.
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When reporting a carjacking, CPD reminded residents to use the following characteristics of the offender, if possible: gender, race/ethnicity, age, height, weight, body build, face, hair, complexion, voice, other notable physical characteristics, clothing and the interaction.
Here's what police said to do in order to prevent a carjacking:
- Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings
- Always lock your car
- Never leave your vehicle idling/running unattended – even if your key fob is with you
- Always keep track of your keys, never leave them inside the vehicle
- Park in a safe spot
- Do not leave children unattended inside your vehicle
- If you see suspicious activity, report it anonymously by calling 9-1-1.
- If you are a victim of a crime, report it immediately by calling 9-1-1.
Brown said officers will also use the website to post necessary and relevant video footage of carjacking crimes across Chicago.
For the CPD carjacking website, click here.
In a carjacking last month in Chicago, a rideshare driver was left partially paralyzed after he was shot.
Driver Marcus Kelley spoke out about his experience this week, calling on public officials to do more to protect drivers who feel vulnerable during a recent increase in the number of car thefts in the area.
Ride share drivers gathered Tuesday to demand better safety precautions. Those drivers said carjackers, especially younger individuals, are exploiting security flaws in rideshare apps, which is putting their lives in danger.
Kelley reflected on the incident that nearly took his life in late February. In what turned into a botched carjacking near Jackson and Pulaski, Kelley was shot multiple times, leaving him partially paralyzed.
“It was two shots. One went through my lip, and the other hit me in my spine, and is now lodged in my neck,” he said. “Doctors said that I won’t be walking again. They really made that clear.”
Kelley said that the carjacking was carried out by a group of teens.