Chicago Carjackers Tease Cops with Social Media Trend

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Chicago already had a bad reputation for crime. And now, violent gang members are actively making it worse by posting prized photos on social media of the luxury cars they’ve stolen.

But we can’t just blame it all on Chicago being Chicago. There’s a wave of idiots getting the same idea in St. Louis, Milwaukee and Baltimore. All of these cities are seeing a noticeable rise in carjackings. Police in St. Louis spoke to local media confirming the problem, saying that they’d already had to put together a special taskforce to track the thefts and that they quickly realized that the gang members responsible are going out of their way to post their prizes on the Internet.

When media first started reporting on the wave of luxury carjackings,  police at the time stressed that all you know is that you’re chasing a car, not an individual, and you have to assume that the driver is dangerous. Now, they are working with clearer confirmation that they are indeed dealing with violent gang members.

Back in Chicago, police announced their own task force to evaluate what they refer to as a surge in violent carjackings.

The city’s police will work with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as well as the FBI and other federal prosecutors.

In 2016, Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson announced that there had been 663 carjackings in 2016 which rose to 1,000 in 2017. In the first month of 2018, there were 86 such crimes committed. Unfortunately, the arrests often go out the door because so many of the offenders are found to be juveniles, who are charged and then released back to their parents. This made headlines when three teenagers were arrested two weeks ago for an attempted carjacking of a retired cop, where one of them was released and arrested before the paperwork for the first arrest was even finalized. The juvenile was found with another stolen car carrying a loaded weapon.

The ATF indicated that they’re looking to pinpoint the gang affiliation of these idiots and will look into finding federal charges including conspiracy.

But why steal a Lexus and not a Honda?

Maj. Kenneth Kegel of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department commented on the one-upmanship:

“You’ll have one of them post that they got a Lexus, and then the other responds and say he stole a Mercedes. It’s almost like a game, where they want to one up each other.”

Usually we see how social media has an impact on others because we tend to only post the good parts of our life. A new promotion, or a great haircut, or a posed photo with makeup on at an event. But these criminals must think that the best part of their life is stealing luxury cars. Or, it’s possible that this is caused by another psychological quirk of online life: When you are under distress, you do what you always do. Sometimes this means that people who live their whole lives online will turn on their phones to livestream a disaster as it happens, because they livestream everything in their life. Maybe these juveniles are just reacting to the way they’ve been raised: If something, anything happens, just turn on your phone and make sure everyone can see it happen, too.

Chicago police have been using social media to name and shame the criminals in a way to push back against the glory:

In the past, social media has been an outlet for stupid criminals to upload photos of what they’ve stolen from stores. Usually called Loot Crews, many of the idiots end up getting caught showing off their wares. But, there are usually an army of others looking to get in on the fun online, and will post false information allegation lootings and riots that aren’t happening.

And when social media explodes with looting and crime, there’s always a backlash of regular Americans who post photos of their arms in their own homes.

During the riots in Ferguson in 2014, there were many famous examples of looters protesting alleged racial injustice then proceeding to destroy black-owned businesses.

Clearly, there are criminals out there who don’t keep their heads on straight. But here’s a free lesson to start: If you’re going to attempt to carjack someone, make sure it’s not an internationally famous sniper.

Sources: Fox News, ABC Chicago, Fox St. Louis

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