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Carjackings up 50% in Cleveland from 2 years ago

Published: Mar. 23, 2022 at 7:38 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Dangerous carjackings in Northeast Ohio continue to be a big problem, and could put you and your loved ones at risk.

At least one person falls victim to this violent crime every day in Cleveland, on average, according to statistics from the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.

19 Investigates found it’s only getting worse.

A carjacking even took the life of Cleveland Police officer Shane Bartek on New Year’s Eve.

People often become victims where they least suspect it—from gas stations to grocery stores.

And the crime spree often doesn’t stop there.

Justin Herdman, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, testified this month in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the dangers of carjackings and improving the federal response to the problem.

“In my experience, the vehicle that has been carjacked is most likely to be used for committing additional violent crimes, most notably pre-mediated shootings or aggravated robberies,” Herdman said.

19 Investigates found carjackings are increasing in Cleveland at an alarming pace.

Herdman shared the statistics below with U.S. senators.

There were 285 carjackings in the city in 2019, shooting up to 355 in 2020.

They increased even more to 433 in 2021, up about 50 percent from just two years before.

And the spike in carjackings is happening in other cities across the country too.

“Behind each of these frightening numbers are victims who are forever changed by the crimes committed against them,” Herdman said.

Herdman pointed out that many times teens are the ones committing carjackings, but adults are behind the crimes.

He suggested adding a federal conspiracy charge to prosecute the people leading these crime rings.

At the meeting, senators said they’d like to see federal agencies improve the way they collect carjacking data and deploy more resources to local communities.

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