CAPITOL HEIGHTS, Md. — The Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office is taking a new approach to getting a handle on carjackings.
The number of incidents has skyrocketed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A local task force is not only focusing on prosecution but also prevention by using more targeted and community-focused tactics to get the crimes under control.
A new ad, featuring local teenagers and Big G from The Wire and Backyard Band, was commissioned by the Prince County State’s Attorney’s Office to help deter people from carjacking.
“One of the things I wanted to do in these ads was to meet the youth where they are,” EZ Street said.
EZ Street is a local DJ and owner of Creative Solutions for Youth.
He is behind creating the PSAs which are targeted at young people.
“We basically want to put the consequences of carjacking in front of the youth – but in a creative and entertaining way,” he explained.
“Last year, we saw about 81 carjackings through this time period. This year, we’re at 156,” Prince County State’s Attorney Aiesha Braveboy said.
State’s Attorney Braveboy started a local task force to tackle the carjacking problem earlier this year.
In addition to their involvement with a regional law enforcement-focused initiative, the local task force is focused on prevention.
The approach uses video ads, a series of engaging community events, and 1,000 mentors that are recruited from neighborhoods where the crimes are happening.
“Let me be clear – when people are committing violent crimes and they get arrested, we will hold them accountable. That is our job, and we will do it,” Braveboy told WUSA9. “However, our bigger job is to keep people safe. In order to do that, we have to work on prevention.”
“This is about protecting the future of our youth, and we have to do whatever we can to get the word out to reach them to be able to save lives…we’re doing whatever we got to do to be able to get this job done,” EZ Street said.
So far in 2021, Prince George’s County Police have arrested about 41 people for carjacking incidents with 10 of the suspects arrested being juveniles.
If you want to learn more about these community events or how to become a mentor, visit the state’s attorney’s social media pages for the latest information.