Chicago is suffering through an “epidemic” of carjackings — nearly 200 reported in the space of a single month — and city officials are now putting a plan into action to curb juvenile vehicle crime: free snacks and educational movies at select Chicago Police Department-run locations.
CWB Chicago reports that the program, called the “Criminal Trespass To Vehicle Workshops,” allows suspected juvenile offenders arrested in connection with the theft of a motor vehicle, to endure an afternoon of “video interviews” with full snack and beverage service instead of more aggressive punitive measures.
“According to CPD, the workshop is a ‘video interview series’ with victims and volunteers who talk about vehicular hijacking, motor vehicle theft, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, and criminal trespass to vehicles,” the outlet reported Monday, adding that CPD’s Facebook post about the initiative “features a photo of three participants watching a video — with snacks and beverage service, of course. And, boy, do the youngsters look attentive!”
The three participants in the Facebook post appear to be nodding off.
“Participants ‘complete a series of worksheets between each video module,'” in order to ensure participation. “Topics include impact and victims, risk factors, legal consequences, impact on family, and preparing for success.”
The workshop, Chicago police insist, involves no danger of physical activity.
Responses to CPD’s post were less than enthusiastic.
“The city finally realized that arrests are meaningless without consequences,” one commenter noted. “I’m sure that adding pizza and soft drinks to the traditional catch and release policy will have a big impact on our skyrocketing car jacking epidemic. Hopefully some day victims will get something too.”
Chicago already has issues with leniency. As The Daily Wire reported last year, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office’s “affordable bail” policy, which allows some arrestees to walk free if they cannot pay cash bail, had dire consequences in 2020: “32 people who were charged with committing murder, attempted murder, or aggravated battery with a firearm while free on bail for serious felonies.”
The city, already suffering from an epidemic of shooting deaths, is now on pace to have 2,000 carjackings this year.
“CPD logged an average of six carjackings per day during the first ten days of 2021, according to the department’s stats. A source said there were 110 cases by midday on January 15,” CWB Chicago noted. “With 61 vehicular hijacking reports logged through the first 10 days of the year, 2021’s carjacking pace is slightly less than three times the levels seen during the same time periods in 2020 and 2019.”
“While there’s a long road ahead of us, Chicago will see about 2,200 carjackings this year if the pace is allowed to continue. The city had 1,417 cases last year and 603 in 2019,” the outlet added.
CPD blames the carjacking epidemic on an uptick in gang violence — the same uptick driving up the city’s murder rate.
“The gangs are using these vehicles because they feel they can’t be traced,” South Chicago District Capt. Michael Murphy told the Chicago Tribune. “They can do their crimes, whether it be shootings or whatever it is, and then dump the car.”