Articles Tagged with auto theft

raban-haaijk-118657-copy-225x300The carjacking was one of the trendiest criminal activities in the 1990s. But, recent Chicago City data shows that after many years of steady decline, the crime of taking other people’s vehicles by force is soaring back into favor. The data revealed that through August, vehicle hijacking crimes increased by 30%. This is equivalent to 183% compared to 2015 crime rate.

The Loop experienced a 1200% increase in vehicle hijacking crimes as compared to 2015. River North’s vehicle hijacking rate went up by 500%. The popular 19th Police District includes Uptown, Lakeview, the north end of Lincoln Park and North Center. It experienced a 200% increase in vehicle hijacking crimes as compared to two years ago.

According to the Chicago Tribune, carjacking began to spike in 2016 when shootings and homicides skyrocketed. Crime in virtually every category rose. While the cause of this sudden spike was unclear, some security officers felt the furor over the viral video clip revealing police shooting a teen Laquan McDonald 16 times fueled the activity. This resulted in most security officers becoming less aggressive on the streets. This, in turn, emboldened criminals.

esther-tuttle-280714-copy-300x200There are instances in which the crime of being in possession of a stolen motor vehicle is a carrier or access crime. You need a team of competent lawyers in order to avoid upgrading the charges unnecessarily. The car being the instrument for committing the crime or getting away from the crime, it is often a minor charge when compared with the principal charge of robbery or even homicide. The case of Jamie Thurnau and Jorge Chavez demonstrates the wide range of possible charges after the arrest. The actual charge sheet included the possession of a stolen car and also resisting arrest. Further charges of burglary, aggravated battery, and fleeing police were later added.

The fact that the offenders injured a law enforcement agent during the commission of the crime is an aggravating feature that will be considered by the court during the sentencing phase. A prior warrant of arrest was being executed when the pair drove off from a Walmart parking lot. The accumulation of charges brings into question the Mens Rea element of the criminal conduct. The acts of fleeing and even injuring the police may have occurred as described by the prosecutor, but it is an entirely different matter to prove that these acts were foreplanned with malice in mind. This is often the crux of the defense strategy. They may acknowledge the factual basis of the case but then dispute the motivations in order to throw doubt on the case.

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