City, county and state police are continuing to try to develop solutions to the surge in carjackings reported across the area so far in 2021.
According to the latest numbers provided by the city of Chicago, 368 carjackings have been reported so far this year, and police unveiled a new tool in the fight to stem the tide of thefts, a user-friendly website for the public to get involved and to stay informed.
Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said the website includes recent press releases, booking photos of offenders and prevention tips, as well as the best way to report carjackings.
The news of the task force’s actions is especially welcome for rideshare drivers, who have been targeted in a string of recent thefts.
“The fear is very real,” Kevin Nelson, the organizer for the Independent Drivers Guild, said. “Drivers feel like they are working for practically nothing with a target on their back.”
The guild presented a list of requests to Uber and Lyft on Tuesday, calling for additional measures to be taken to protect drivers. Those measures include voice-activated panic systems, photo verification of passengers, and other protocols.
At the law enforcement level, Chicago police say they’ve arrested 323 people, and are partnering with Cook County Sheriff’s Officers and the Illinois State Police in an effort to crack down on the crimes.
“It’s a shame that you have to hold a gun to someone’s head just to joyride,” Brown said.