Carjacking is a serious crime and terrifying experience for victims. Detroit residents and people traveling through know the fear of carjacking all too well as Detroit struggles to beat its reputation as one of the country’s worst cities for carjacking.
Less than a decade ago, Detroit experienced more than three carjackings every day with American-made cars being the vehicles of choice. Today, thanks to the efforts of law enforcement and a steep drop in population after the 2008 economic crisis, those numbers have declined sharply. Last year, Detroit saw 485 carjackings through November. Although this is significantly better than years past it’s still three times as many carjackings as New York City had in 2014. The problem is especially glaring when you consider that New York City has 10 times the population of Detroit.
Law enforcement agencies along with local and federal prosecutors have worked together to try and quell this dangerous problem. Carjacking convictions carry with them a possible life sentence, even if no one is actually injured. Officials believe stiff penalties are necessary to send a message to criminals and a fitting punishment for a crime that takes a large, multi-faceted toll on an already struggling city. Carjacking terrifies residents and scares people out of visiting or moving to Detroit. If people are too afraid to invest their money in the city, it’s difficult to imagine a light at the end of decades of financial difficulties. Just last year, a 25 year old carjacker was sentenced to 92 years in prison after committing a spree of hold ups at gun point where thankfully no one was injured. The average maximum sentence for carjacking is 20 years in Detroit courts.
The city has also been working to gather better carjacking statistics and data so prevention and law enforcement can be more targeted. Gas stations, a popular carjacking target, are cooperating by installing surveillance camera and better lighting to deter crime and document anything that does happen.
Unfortunately, no Detroit neighborhood is currently safe from the threat of carjacking. They often occur in gas stations or in residential driveways, but they can happen everywhere including on open roadways, small alleyways, parking lots or fast food restaurants. They usually occur after 8 p.m. And statistically, men are at greater risk than women. Carjackers are usually young, unsophisticated criminals under 21. Many use weapons, and some beat or shoot their victims for seemingly no reason.
If you’re scared of traveling in and around Detroit, you have good reason to be. If you can help it, don’t drive around the city after dark. Stay in well-lit areas and be aware of your surroundings. If someone does approach you, give up your car. Don’t forget, it’s just a property crime and you can always get another car.
If you are facing criminal charges, contact the Michigan auto theft lawyers at Davis Law Group PLLC for a free consultation at (313) 818-3238.