CHICAGO (CBS) — Following a spike in carjackings, Chicago police are turning to their federal partners for help.
Police say there were 86 carjackings in the city so far this year through Feb. 1. — which is compared to 72 such crimes in the same period last year.
Arrests have also gone up, from 12 last year in that time to 32 this year.
The attempted carjacking of a retired Chicago police officer’s vehicle outside of a Streeterville hotel Friday night is the latest example of the growing problem.
Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson says a new task force will work with the FBI, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and state and local police.
“While we put more police on the street, we have a coordinated effort to reduce carjackings,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said during a news conference Sunday morning.
They will look at trends and patterns in carjackings, including the number of juveniles involved, and what kind of punishment is appropriate.
Johnson says they also plan to look at the adults who appear to be directing the young offenders to steal cars.
“They use those vehicles to commit other crimes like drive-by shootings or the smash-and-grabs. We also know that some of them are committed just for the thrill of doing it,” Johnson said. “I don’t care why you do it, it’s wrong, and when we catch you, and we will, you’re going to be punished.”
The task force is slated to meet for the first time Monday morning at police headquarters.