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Despite Pandemic Carjacking Surge, Rate Dropped Sharply Since 1995

The rate of nonfatal carjacking victimizations in the U.S. has held fairly steady in recent years, but fell 78 percent over nearly three decades, from 0.53 per 1,000 persons age 16 or older in 1995 to 0.12 per 1,000 in 2021, says the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Over the last decade, the rate of nonfatal carjacking victimization has ranged from 0.09 per 1,000 persons to 0.15 per 1,000. (Fatal incidents are not included in the study because it is based on interviews with crime victims.)

From 2012 to 2021, nonfatal carjackings were more likely to take place at or near the victim’s home than in other locations. Some 59 percent of cases involved an offender with a weapon. About one in four incidents resulted in a victim's injury. Nearly two thirds of offenders were strangers to the victim. Black people were more likely than whites and as likely as Hispanics to be carjacking victims. Despite the decline over many years, carjacking made an "alarming resurgence" in some cities during the pandemic, the New York

Times reported in March. The number of reported incidents nearly quadrupled in Philadelphia from 2019 to 2021 and was on track to double this year; Chicago had more than 1,900 carjackings last year, the highest number in decades. The number of armed carjackings in New Orleans in early 2022 was already at two-thirds the whole year’s tally in 2019.


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