MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. — After a sharp uptick in carjackings reported across the D.C. metro area, the region established a 2021 Carjacking Task Force that includes the Metropolitan Police Department, the Prince George's County Police Department, the Montgomery County Police Department, the FBI, and various State's Attorney's Offices.
The regional task force announced Thursday it is responsible for four arrests involving suspects tied to 22 crimes that occurred in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia between January and February of this year.
“During this task force investigators identified four suspects who committed eight carjackings throughout the DMV between January and February 2021,” Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones said. “Detectives also learned that these same four suspects committed 13 commercial and street robberies in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia.”
Those crimes include eight-armed carjackings, eight commercial armed robberies, five daytime armed robberies of ATM proceeds, and one jump in vehicle theft crime, according to Chief Jones.
Jones said the suspects ranged from 18 to 21-years old and said the suspects had been posting social media bragging about the carjackings and showing off what they’d done.
Jones said there are still unsolved carjacking cases the carjacking task force members are working to solve and targets they are still going after. He said he’s not sure if there are more carjackings that are connected, but they are looking into it.
According to MPD, there have been 91 carjackings in D.C. this year, compared to 18 in the same time frame last year. Montgomery County Police is reporting 16 carjackings since January.
Some of the carjacking arrests have been of children as young as twelve years old.
“It is interesting that in the world of the COVID pandemic some people would say it's due to boredom, right. Some people would think that it can be connected to some video games or just the joy of it and because we do see those individuals again, not necessarily doing it for financial gain, that it seems to be some sort of a joy ride or a kick,” Jones said. “I still think it's them not understanding the seriousness of what they're actually doing and a willingness to go out and again, not only endanger the lives of others, but they're also endangering their own lives for those who really don't know how to drive.”
Officials are urging people to remember that cars are replaceable, but people are not. If a carjacker threatens you with a gun or weapon authorities said to give up your car. They are also urging people to stay alert, trust their instincts, and if you feel uneasy get into the car, lock the doors, and drive away.