PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There have been more than 90 carjackings this year, compared to just 24 at this time last year. After the armed carjacking of Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, some residents thought carjacking would die down. On Thursday, authorities said things are getting worse.
It’s a crime of opportunity that’s out of control.READ MORE: Philadelphia School District Students, Staff To Resume Masking As COVID Cases Continue To Rise In City
“It’s not even the end of the month yet and we already, like, 91. It’s terrible,” resident Alie Rosie said.
Philadelphia’s carjacking trend tripled in 2022 with carjackings leaving people shaken.
“What’s happening here is not normal and I don’t want anyone for any minute to begin to normalize this,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said.
In a press conference Thursday afternoon, Outlaw said there was no single issue more important than fighting this surge of violent crime.
“We are truly using every resource available to combat this issue,” she said.READ MORE: West Philly Double Shooting Leaves 30-Year-Old Man Dead, Teen Hospitalized: Police
She says the department will create an Operational Task Force dedicated to combating carjackings, deploy additional resources to investigate and apprehend offenders and deploy plain-clothed officers to high crime and hot spot areas.
But they’re asking residents to act as well.
“It’s a car. If someone is going to take your car, don’t try to fight over the car,” Deputy Police Commissioner Ben Naish said. “It’s not worth your life.”
Naish referenced recent tragic incidents such as the shooting death of Temple student Samuel Collington over his car and others where the driver fought back attempting to shoot their attackers. He says when the suspects are successful, the cars tend to lead to other crimes.
“They’re being used to commit some of the shootings that are going on within the city,” Naish said. “They’re being used to commit other carjackings.”
Rosie, a single mother, says the crisis has her afraid to drive in the city at all times. She says while these initiatives may help, there’s another issue the city is overlooking.
“They need more jobs, more opportunity,” Rosie said, “but it’s not right to take away from others.”MORE NEWS: Police Investigating Series Of Gunpoint Robberies In Center City, West Philadelphia
Police say social media is making people think this is an easy crime to get away with. The deputy commissioner says carjackings will land juveniles in adult court.