Minors make up shocking number of suspects, youngest was 11
CHICAGO – We have an update on a FOX 32 special report from Wednesday night regarding law enforcement tackling Chicago’s carjacking crisis.
Now, we’re taking a closer look at the shocking number of teenagers suspected of these crimes – and we’ve found that age plays a role in how, when and where minors are charged.
One of the passengers of a hijacked Toyota Rav 4 that the police were chasing eventually fled. When Chicago police caught him, they found he was 17 and then released him to his mother.
Sadly, the 17-year-old is not the youngest suspect members of the carjacking task force have seen. They arrested a well-known 11-year-old who was part of a carjacking team, and it wasn’t his first time.
“In this specific case, yes, it was part of a larger crew — a juvenile crew,” said Chicago Police Department carjacking task force sergeant Kevin Sellers.
It’s a huge problem that makes it difficult to slow down carjackings in Cook County.
“We just had a new carjacking in the 2nd District, 2022 Toyota Corolla,” Cook County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Patrick Donovan said.
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The average carjacker is between 15 and 25 years old, and often the police discover that this is not the first time that she has been caught in a stolen car.
“There are only 20% of cases where individuals are arrested,” said Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. “So you don’t know who those other 80% are, in that 20% there’s a disproportionate number of minors involved.”
From January to June 20, 2021, there were 756 carjackings in Cook County. For this same period in 2022, there were 834 carjackings.
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Sheriff Dart says he’s frustrated to see repeat juvenile offenders.
“If there’s a carjacking, for example, and the minor isn’t going to be incarcerated while the case is being decided, there definitely needs to be home supervision,” Dart said.
Just this week, Amarion Pope and Jamari Woods, both 18, were arrested for allegedly stealing cars from Hertz at Midway Airport.
According to CWBChicago.com, Pope is on probation from the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice and was convicted of three cases of carjacking while underage last year. This year, Pope was convicted in juvenile court of carjacking, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and aggravated flight.
The CCB says Woods is awaiting sentencing for an aggravated carjacking case in juvenile court.