Articles Tagged with carjacking

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.

DSCF6253mMost of us are familiar with the term carjacking from television, movies, and video games. It is legally referred to as vehicular hijacking, and it is defined as the use of force or the threat of the use of force to steal another person’s vehicle. Vehicular hijacking, or carjacking, is a serious violent crime in Illinois and the penalties are harsh. You will be facing felony charges and a lengthy prison term, as well as fines, if you are accused of carjacking, and you will have a permanent blight on your criminal record.

What Exactly is Carjacking?

Under Illinois law, you can be charged with carjacking if you take a motor vehicle from another person by the use of force, or by the threat of the use of force. It is considered more than a simple robbery – it is a separate charge entirely, and it is a Class 1 felony. If you are convicted of carjacking, you could face up to 15 years in prison. The penalties are significantly harsher than those for robbery and burglary offenses, which are usually charged as Class 2 felonies and carry shorter sentences and lower fines.