Police are in contact with social services to help change the lives of young car thieves; one victim calls it “pampered”

CHICAGO (CBS) — With the upsurge in carjackings in Chicago lately, the Chicago Police Superintendent. David Brown announced on Friday a new strategy to fight them.

As CBS 2’s Jackie Kostek reported, this follows two carjackings that targeted women right downtown this week.

Police Superintendent David Brown said the carjacking in Chicago is being carried out by minors – teenagers and even tweens. He said many of these minors are repeat offenders.

“Our juvenile courts have a hard time holding them for very long. No one in the juvenile justice system wants to incarcerate our young people,” Brown said, “but it’s a very dangerous and serious crime.”

Brown said 60% of those arrested for carjacking are minors, and some have stolen cars four, five or even six times.

While Brown said the department will find offenders and bring them to justice, regardless of age, police are also trying to intervene.

“Trying to figure out what those needs are — why is this youngster committing these very heinous crimes — and trying to find the right connection to social services,” Brown said.

Brown discusses the case of an 11-year-old child he described as a prolific carjacker, responsible for the trauma of a Mt. Greenwood mother and her adult daughter last November.

CBS 2 spoke to the mother the day the 11-year-old was charged.

“He actually jumped like a kid, all the way up. Jumping, like young kids do. He’s a kid,” the woman said in January. “I don’t really think he knew what he was doing or what he was getting involved in.”

The woman told us that she was really concerned about young people not being held accountable for their actions.

“I believe they are taught that they can do whatever they want and there will be no consequences,” she said in January. “With the judges, the prosecutors, where are these parents, how do they raise these children?”

Brown said the CPD discovered the child who was part of the Mount Greenwood carjacking had been out of school for two years. Brown said the boy’s mother recently died and his father was ill.

Chicago police connected the 11-year-old offender with Chicago Public Schools and a program called Choose to Change.

“Since service connections were established, this youngster has not missed a day of school and recently made the honor roll – more importantly, has not committed any other carjackings,” said Brown.

But not everyone is encouraged by this news.

Kostek spoke to this victim of the Mt. Greenwood carjacking again Friday night. She didn’t want her voice used on TV, but said she was upset that the police were “coddling” these children.

The woman asked while the car thieves were receiving such services, what was being done to help the victims, like her and her daughter?

WEB SUPPLEMENT: CBS Carjacking Tracker 2

CBS Chicago October 2021 Special Report: Why I Carjack; Teenagers say it all


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