The Baltimore Sun reported on October 9, 2019 that carjackings in the city are rising. In one example, the victim wasn’t even in his car. He was on his brother’s porch getting some sun when two people appeared and demanded that the 60-year-old man give them his car keys and phone. To emphasize their demand, they pointed a gun at him. The two men then got into his car in the Bentalou-Smallwood part of Southwest Baltimore and sped away.

The newspaper added that while Baltimore is on target for 300 killings for the fifth year in a row, carjacking rates have tripled since 2014. Through September 28, there have been 400 carjackings, up nearly 30% from 2018.  Citing another case where a 27-yeard old was killed in the city’s first fatal carjacking, City Councilman Zeke Cohen said that “People are scared to walk to their cars.”

The police speculate that carjackings are happening because you just need one person who’s “not paying attention.” Stealing a car while it is running is easier than stealing it when it’s parked, due to anti-theft technology. Most carjackings happen late at night and in the early morning. They’re mostly committed by teens and younger adults.

Strategies for solving carjacking crimes

Often, once a car is stolen, the drivers commit other crimes; thefts and robberies are routinely committed by crews of carjackers. The assailants often use weapons to force the victims to hand over the keys. Some cases are solved by looking back at other open criminal investigations. Law enforcement also focuses on the guns and shell casing to connect crimes “such as homicides, robberies and carjackings.” Residents are being encouraged to install home security cameras.

Many crimes are solved by starting with finding the stolen car while someone is driving it. Other solutions include surveillance footage and walking through the neighborhoods. In the case of the man whose car was stolen while he was visiting his brother, police “used license plate readers to track the Volkswagen to Baltimore County. Three days after the Sept. 8 carjacking, police found the car and discovered Travon Fortune, 20, had been living out of the vehicle.” Several other people were also charged with crimes in relation to that carjacking.

The public defender’s office in Baltimore claims that there’s no strong indicator that juveniles are the primary carjackers, though the police think otherwise.

At Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law, we represent defendants who are accused of theft including carjackings. We understand that the police often seize evidence in the rush to solve a crime without obtaining a warrant. We assert your Constitution rights and all the legal defenses that apply to your case. We work to show that weapons were not involved with the theft. For help with any theft crime, call our respected Annapolis and Ellicott City criminal defense attorneys at 410.777.8103 or fill out my contact form to schedule an appointment.