Stats show carjackers target men over women, standard over luxury cars

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Edward Padilla became a carjacking victim while delivering food near Diversey Parkway and N. Sawyer Avenue last year.

"I was getting out of the car and felt somebody and he said, 'give me the keys to your car and your phone,'" Padilla said.

Padilla is no longer a delivery driver, but said he lives in paranoia every time he gets out of his car.

Carjackings were on the rise last year but Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said this year is even worse. Countywide, including Chicago, carjackings have increased by almost 44 percent. Dart said Cook County could see more carjackings this year than in the last two decades.

But Dart said law enforcement is getting a better handle on carjackings after his department created a database using information from city and suburban departments.

"In doing so, we have found patterns we have not seen before," Dart said.

The database, Dart said, has helped his department find out which days of the week carjackers prefer to strike. Dart said he initially thought Friday's and Saturday's would be the "biggest days" for carjackings, but it turned out to be Tuesdays, adding he had "no idea why."

Department data also found close to 64 percent of carjacking victims are males and 36 percent are female.

Luxury cars are not a carjackers preferred choice. The data shows the Toyota Camry is the most targeted vehicle, followed by the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Nissan Altima, the Chevy Malibu and the Honda CRV.

And while downtown carjackings may get more attention, the data shows most carjackings occur on one side of town.

"There are certain neighborhoods where the numbers are double, quadruple a lot have been on the west side of the city," Dart said.

Dart said compiling countywide data has allowed his department to respond more quickly and that the amount of time it's taken to recover cars has been cut in half.

Dart added that while there is progress, there is also a long way to go before carjacking numbers decrease and victims feel comfortable again.
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