New police data shows carjackings decrease, unoccupied auto thefts increase over last year

ByChuck Goudie and Bark Markoff and Christine Tressel WLS logo
Thursday, May 25, 2023
New police data shows carjackings decrease, auto thefts increase in Chicago over past year
Data obtained by the ABC7 I-Team shows good news and bad news for vehicle related crime trends in Chicago.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Despite numerous high-profile cases and community alerts in the past few months, Chicago police numbers show carjackings in the city are down significantly from a year ago.

However, the crime category of Chicago vehicle thefts is a good news/bad news scenario.

Carjackings, where occupied cars are taken from the driver, sometimes at gunpoint, are down considerably in the city while straight auto thefts are significantly higher, according to data obtained by the ABC7 I-Team.

Even though both categories of car thefts end up with a car being stolen, cases where thieves brandish weapons are inherently more dangerous compared to a basic stolen car, also known as Grand Theft Auto, where an unoccupied vehicle is simply swiped off the street, driveway, parking lot or from a garage.

A few weeks ago, the CPD Vehicular Hijacking Task Force touted its 27.4% reduction in carjackings to date.

That is backed up with police data collected by the I-Team, showing a sharp decrease in total carjackings the past 12 months following a several year surge in carjackings.

The statistical drop in carjackings comes as CPD recently issued an alert about a rash of carjackings on the city's North and Northwest Sides, from Bucktown to Rogers Park.

In one case a shot was fired as the victim tried to get away.