WATCH: DC police announce creation of task force to address rampant car jackings and thefts

Crime has skyrocketed across major American cities, with municipalities across the country seeing spikes in murders, theft, and other violent crime, since the summer of 2020.


The Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department announced on Tuesday that they will be forming a task force to address the skyrocketing number of vehicle thefts and jackings in recent months.

"Washington DC, along with other major cities across the nation, has experienced a significant increase in car jackings over the last year," said MPD chief Robert Contee. "Motor vehicle thefts across the district have also increased 51 percent over the same time period. Currently, only a little over a month into 2021, we are already seeing increases in these offenses across our city."

Crime in general has skyrocketed across major American cities, with municipalities across the country seeing spikes in murders, theft, and other violent crime, since the summer of 2020. The skyrocketing crime rates came as the defund the police movement came into full swing and left-wing activists and politicians, including now-Vice President Kamala Harris, organized to bail out violent criminals from jail.

Washington DC itself cut the police budget for 2021 by $14 million. The cuts themselves were uneven, with the bulk of the cuts being in the force's investigative unit while the police chief's office budget increased by $1.7 million.

The economic effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have also been linked to the rise in criminal activity, as individuals and families are cut off, often times by the force of the government, from supporting themselves through legal means.

Mainstream media outlets such as The Washington Post, however, have described such trends in criminal activity as "puzzling."

"On January 25, 2021, I created and dedicated a task force to address the rise in car jackings, stolen autos, and robberies within the district," Contee continued. "This task force consists of teams of detectives specializing in robberies and violent crimes that will focus on all car jacking cases in the district, and hold those responsible for committing these crimes accountable."

Contee also offered tips to motorists on how to prevent their vehicles from being stolen, including to never leave their engines running unattended, to keep track of keys, ensure that doors are locked, and to call 9-1-1 immediately if their vehicle is stolen.

David Do, director of the Department of For-Hire Vehicles, blamed the rise in food and other product deliveries for the rise in car thefts. "What we've seen during this public health emergency is that we're moving from transporting people to transporting parcels, and goods, and food deliveries, and that's why we see a rise in for-hire vehicle thefts."

It is unclear what evidence there is to suggest that this what is driving vehicle thefts. DC Patrol Chief Lamar Greene meanwhile suggested last year that the car thefts seen in the city are typically driven by a desire among thieves to take joyrides. "They're being found very close to the areas where they’re being taken," Greene said, suggesting that thieves steal cars for joyrides before quickly abandoning them.

"You can attribute a lot of it, I think, to a very dangerous form of having fun," Greene further suggested. "The ones who'll talk, some of them will tell us, look, they just like certain kinds of vehicles and like driving around in them."

Director Do further told DC residents to avoid putting up a fight against car jackers. Washington DC has very strict gun control laws, making it extremely difficult for most residents to be able to effectively defend themselves from car jackers, many of whom, according to Greene, carry guns themselves.

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