Study: Carjackings have increased in major cities by as much as 500% in the last 8 years

Philadelphia reported a 34% increase in carjackings last year
An attempted carjacked Honda Civic is seen along the side on a road
Jun 10, 2020 - An attempted carjacked Honda Civic is seen along the side of State Road 60 in front of the Walmart Supercenter with the driver side window shot out after two of the occupants were shot by the suspect on Tuesday, June 9, 2020, in Indian River County, FL. The suspect then successfully hijacked another vehicle and was chased by Indian River County sheriffs deputies who later shot and killed the suspect in the parking lot of an AutoZone auto parts store. Photo credit ERIC HASERT/TCPALM via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Carjackings in major cities across the United States have had a recent spike of over 500%, as violent crimes continue to rise.

Chicago, New Orleans, New York, and Philadelphia have all been dealing with vehicular hijacking becoming more prevalent. Some are attributing the rise in carjackings to a shift in driving habits and the increased demand for food delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city of Philadelphia has reported a 34% increase in carjackings last year, with a total of 750 cases. Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw issued a statement on the rise in carjackings.

"The onslaught of violence happening in Philadelphia is entirely unacceptable and we remain committed to stemming these trends," Outlaw said.

"One of the more disturbing trends that we have seen in Philadelphia is the startling increase in the number of carjackings – the taking of a vehicle by force or fear - that have been experienced over the past two years."

Outlaw added that the pandemic has played a major role in the rise of these crimes and has added to the challenge in catching the perpetrators.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has normalized mask wearing, and this has provided additional opportunity for offenders to avoid catching their victim’s attention, as well as making it more difficult to identify perpetrators," Outlaw said.

There were a reported 1,849 carjackings in Chicago in 2021, a 510% increase from the 303 carjackings in 2014, according to city data. These crimes rose by 30% from 2020 to 2021, as there were 1,413 reported vehicular hijackings two years ago in Chicago.

New York City carjackings have increased more and more in each of the past four years. There were a reported 112 carjackings in 2018, 132 cases in 2019, 328 cases in 2020, and 530 cases in 2021, according to CNN.

“New York has become carjack city,” a NYPD official told the New York Post. “Between the guns and the low-risk of stealing cars, we’ve seen this explosion in carjackings.”

In New Orleans, there were 288 carjackings last year, compared to 278 in 2020, and a 104% increase from 2019, according to NOLA.com.

There have already been a reported 36 carjackings in New Orleans this year, a 1,100% increase from January of 2021, per Metro Crime.

"The people of this city are rightly frustrated," New Orleans District Attorney Jason Williams said. "What we need is for the chief to understand that their role in the criminal legal system does not end in simply arrest. You gotta have evidence in court."

Featured Image Photo Credit: ERIC HASERT/TCPALM via Imagn Content Services, LLC