A Chicago man has been charged with carjacking from an incident that occurred last March, according to a recent press release. The incident occurred in Mount Prospect, and Mount Prospect police initiated the arrest. According to the report, the incident occurred at 11 p.m. on March 19, 2022. A white Hyundai Santa Fe was stolen in the 1800 block of North Burning Bush Lane. The vehicle was recovered in Chicago three days later and was towed to Mount Prospect police headquarters. A stolen license plate was found affixed to the vehicle. The suspect was apprehended after fingerprint analysis on the license plate matched the suspect’s. The suspect’s bail was set at $200,000.
Vehicular Hijacking Charges
With the rise in carjackings all across the nation, authorities have been cracking down and filing charges against suspected carjackers. The State of Illinois takes carjacking very seriously. It is punishable by a sentence of either 4 to 15 years or when conditions can be considered aggravated, a term of 6 to 30 years. In some cases, carjacking charges can have enhancements that include the possibility of life in prison.
Uptick in Carjackings During Pandemic
During the COVID-19 pandemic, carjackings reportedly increased by 29%, causing Americans to suffer an estimated $7.4 billion in losses. Up to that point, there had been a sharp decline in the rate of auto thefts heading into 2020. In 1991, there were 659 vehicle thefts per 100,000 vehicles. Heading into 2020, the rate had steeply declined to 246 per 100,000 vehicles. However, the pandemic quarantine heralded a sharp reversal of those figures.
No one is quite certain why there has been a major uptick in carjackings and vehicle thefts since the pandemic, but authorities say it is a trend in urban crime right now. A number of the suspects in these cases are juveniles who are out for a joy ride. The rate of juvenile carjackings more than doubled during the pandemic. Between 2016 and 2021, the rate of juveniles accused of carjacking increased from 18% to 41%. There has also been an even sharper increase in carjackings heading into 2022. The trend has continued into 2023, with carjackings remaining much more prevalent than they were in 2019.
However, the national trend has been to charge carjackings harshly, and Illinois has mandatory minimum sentences when it comes to carjacking charges. As the number of carjackings increases, legislators and authorities will continue to crack down and charge defendants with as many discrete crimes as they can get away with. Those convicted of carjacking in Illinois face mandatory minimum sentences on the charge. Depending on the facts of the crime, they can be sentenced to as many as 30 years. Plus, they will face other charges related to the use of weapons.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
David Freidberg represents the interests of Chicago residents who have been charged with carjacking or vehicular hijacking. Call our office today at (312) 560-7100 to set up an appointment, and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.