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WASHINGTON D.C. – Crime continues to escalate in Washington D.C. as the skyrocketing number of carjackings this year has forced police to utilize so-called “bait cars” in an effort to curtail their frequency; the pace of reported murders have also hit a level they have not seen in nearly 20 years.
Carjackings in D.C. have increased a whopping 74 percent so far in 2021 when compared to the same period of time one year prior. So far, in 2021, D.C. police data indicates that there have been 186 carjackings between January 1 and July 12; this runs in stark contrast to the 107 of these incidents – a number that many say is still too high – that occurred between the same dates in 2020.
The issue has become so bad that D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee said Tuesday that his officers will be deploying bait cars in an attempt to lure in and arrest the many carjacking suspects plaguing the city.
“We do deploy bait cars at times. Most recently at the 2nd District they use it but we want to make sure that the tactic certainly works for the specific crime we happen to be targeting at that particular time,” he said.
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Part of the issue, many critics say, is that D.C. is developing a reputation for being “soft on crime,” which does little to deter illegal activity.
Many of the carjacking suspects in D.C. are local teenagers; last week, three juvenile girls – aged 12, 14, and 16 – were arrested after attempting to steal the car of a victim that they allegedly used a Taser on; two of the girls later had the charges dropped. And in an infamous case, two more teen girls – aged 13 and 15 – killed an Uber Eats driver as they were attempting to carjack his vehicle; neither of the girls were charged as adults, and both were eventually only sentenced to juvenile detention until they turn 21.
Carjackings aren’t the only problem that Washington D.C. is beset with, unfortunately. On July 9, the district’s crime statistics hit another dark milestone as the shooting death of a 45 year-old man became the 100th murder the city has experienced so far in 2021. Authorities have confirmed that this is the fastest pace that D.C. has recorded homicides, 100, since 2003; on average that number of killings isn’t reached until the end of October on any given year.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has come under fire for her apparent inability to control crime in her city; she met with President Joe Biden on Monday at the White House along with other local leaders from around the United States who are desperately attempting to deal with a surge of crime – particularly a wave of murders and gun violence – in their respective cities.