WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Carjackings are up in major cities across the United States, including the Nation’s Capital. According to D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee, the crime rate increased 51 percent in the District in 2020, and the number has continued to rise in the new year.
“We want to take this, not only approaching this from an enforcement standpoint, but also from a standpoint where we want to educate our public about the problems we’re seeing,” Chief Contee said.
In order to investigate the crimes and find the people behind them, while also educating the public, Chief Contee established a task force dedicated to tackling the growing issue. A key point Chief Contee said is important is that, in most cases, the theft can be prevented.
He explained, “When you have keys that are left in the vehicle when you have a vehicle that’s running unattended when you have a driver that just parks for a second and then runs into an establishment, these are all preventable things.”
The chief and members of his department are bringing these actions to the public, putting flyers in local businesses and on vehicles to remind drivers not to leave their cars unattended.
Chief Contee said, “We can simply turn the vehicle off, take the keys with us and just adhere to some of these safety precautions that we’re trying to get out to the public.”
David Doe, Department of For-Hire Vehicles Director, said, “Leaving your car on for just a second is not worth it, and if you do fall victim of car theft, please do not fight back and let Metropolitan Police Department do that work.”
Chief Contee said M.P.D. is working with neighboring jurisdictions in the fight against car jackings and theft.