WASHINGTON (WDVM) — In the month since D.C. Police Department Chief Robert Contee announced a task force aimed at stopping carjackings, the numbers have started to trend down.
The department connected two departments in order to tackle the issue. Commander of the Criminal Investigations Division, Ramey Kyle, explained, “We took some of our best robbery detectives, paired them up with our best crime analysts and then they basically work together now to solve cases and link similarities between cases.”
The department also reached out to neighboring jurisdictions like Prince George’s County, Montgomery County and the Metro Transit Police in order to have a constant flow of communication when carjackings take place.
“It’s actually been a really good success. What we noticed is that information sharing is the key to investigating these cases,” Commander Kyle said. The investigations have led to over nine arrests, and Commander Kyle said there are more arrests forthcoming.
The investigation has shown that many perpetrators are juveniles as young as 14 years old. “There really just isn’t the opportunities out there for young people to be engaged, such as after-school sports,” Commander Kyle said. Crime data shows there have been 311 stolen autos since the task force was announced, and the change over time graph shows the numbers slowly trending down.
Even though catching the thief is important, some responsibility lies with drivers too. Commander Kyle said, “One thing to keep in mind, is to stay alert. Be aware of your surroundings, keep your doors locked when you’re driving around town.”
Commander Kyle also said if you find yourself a victim, call 911 immediately. He said those moments just after the crime can be crucial for investigators.