An NPR headline tells us that:
Juveniles Part Of A Huge Increase In Carjackings Across The Country
The article continues:
The FBI does not gather national data for vehicular hijackings, however, but many individual cities do. They say the numbers have exploded since the pandemic and show no signs of letting up.
Even more critical are the number of young car thieves- some as young as 12 or 13. In Minneapolis, for example, there were 405 carjackings last year – more than triple the number that occurred in 2019. The suspects arrested were often juveniles, between the ages of 11 and 17.
Other cities saw huge increases too, including New Orleans, Kansas City, Mo., Louisville, Ky., and Washington, D.C. Last year in Chicago, there were 1,400 carjackings. In early December, police released a video of one deadly encounter. A retired firefighter was killed in a shootout with four suspects — one of them 15 years old.
Chicago police say juveniles were involved in nearly half of the incidents last year, with the largest group a mix of juveniles and young adults between 15 and 20 years old.
Yes, we can safely assume that all, or almost all, of the carjackers are black. NPR won’t explicitly say this, but it will use code-words, and not-so-subtle hints:
The economic impact of the pandemic on hard-hit neighborhoods may be a factor. Police say because everyone is covering their faces, it gives carjackers an edge.
“Sometimes, it’s about the thrill of a joyride,” says Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown, “or it may be stealing a car in order to commit other crimes like robbery or shootings anonymously.”
Christian Terry has a few ideas. He’s the program director of CHAMPS — an organization which mentors African-American and Latinx boys and young men. Terry, 21, was one of the original members of the group when he was 14 and a high school freshman.
Why do they do this? It’s because of “boredom:”
“Some are just saying ‘Man, these carjackings are only happening because youth is bored right now. They don’t have anything else to do and they think it’s a game.’ They don’t really know how serious it is till they truly get in trouble.”
Perhaps… but thinking back on my own youth, I can’t remember a time when I said, “Golly, I’m really BORED… I think I’ll go out and carjack somebody, you know, just to kill some time.”
The article focuses on Chicago. With Mayor Lori Lightfoot in charge, we can look forward to some novel, groundbreaking, innovative, revolutionary, strategies to tackle the boredom…
Midnight basketball! It’s never been tried before, and it’s sure to work!