NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
Carjackings in Philadelphia have set a record pace in 2022 with 420 cars stolen so far this year, and a former official is calling for a more organized crackdown.
“We definitely saw an increase after corona,” Joseph Sullivan, a former Philadelphia deputy commissioner, told Fox News Digital.
The veteran policeman says FOX 29 that the city has already recorded 420 carjackings in 2022. Officials remain puzzled as to the possible cause of the surge, but Sullivan argued the rise resulted from a mix of more lenient enforcement policies and the end programs that would normally keep children off the streets.
“Schools have closed — recreation centers, sports programs, after-school activities. We’ve basically taken away safe spaces in a lot of those areas where you’re seeing an increase,” Sullivan explained. “These types of programs are really vital because they are some of the most depressed areas with few opportunities for young people.
“And it got worse after the murder of George Floyd, when we saw the emergence of reformed prosecutors who were against holding adults and minors accountable for committing violent crimes and creating this atmosphere of impunity in which there are no repercussions even if you are caught by the police.”
PHILADELPHIA MAN DEATHLY SHOT WHILE ANSWERING FRONT DOOR, POLICE SEARCH 2 GUN MEN
Philadelphia was already reeling from a record-breaking 2021 that saw carjackings rise 85% from the previous year. The pandemic may have artificially suppressed some crime numbers in 2020, but the city recorded 840 carjackings in 2021 compared to an annual average of 230 between 2010 and 2019, according to Axios.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the crime does not remain isolated to just one part of the city, but strikes in most areas. U.S. Representative Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pa., was the victim of a carjacking in broad daylight last December.
“We know very little about the who and why of most carjackings in Philadelphia because so few result in arrests,” the district attorney’s office said last month.
NEW HYUNDAI VEHICLES STOLEN AT PHILADELPHIA TRAIN YARD
Philadelphia Chief Inspector Frank Vanore speculated that a change in technology could prove a significant factor. The rise of more advanced cars that require key fobs to drive might force thieves to make sure the car is stolen while the key fob is in the vehicle.
Sullivan said Vanore was “100% right” that such technology exacerbated the problem, along with the desire to take any electronics drivers might have. He believes police can and should do more to crack down on carjackings, calling for a data-driven approach that task forces and regional partner agencies can use.
“I think they need to have groups of specialized officers who focus on this particular problem, collect data, approach it from a very intelligence-based perspective,” Sullivan explained.
PHILADELPHIA LEGAL GUN OWNER SHOOTS AND KILLS ACCUSED AT HOME INTRUDER IMPORTING POLICE OFFICER
“We need to look at where, when do these crimes happen, where is the profile of these people who are committing them? Are there specific times of day, car brands being targeted? We need to get that information out there -low.”
Failure by the police to continue educating the public on the issue can result in private citizens fighting back. Rising crime has also led to an increase in gun license applications, at least in part for self-defense.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
“What we’ve seen in Philadelphia are several instances of people arming themselves legally and defending themselves,” Sullivan said. “I don’t know about other cities, but I do know that in Philadelphia gun license applications have increased exponentially because we know gun sales have increased across the country. .
“I think we’re going to see more and more citizens defending themselves legally.”