The scourge of carjacking, long a vexing problem for Washington, D.C.-area police and a worrisome threat to residents, prompted an urgent reaction from authorities Tuesday after a Texas congressman was robbed of his SUV at gunpoint a mile from the U.S. Capitol. Carjackings in D.C. are up 106 percent this year compared with the same period in 2022, when the city averaged more than one carjacking per day, reports the Washington Post. The incidents have occurred at all hours and across every ward, in neighborhoods rich and poor. “There is no higher priority than the safety of our residents and those who work in and visit D.C.,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “We are using every tool available to reduce crime.”
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Tex.) was attacked in front of his apartment building in the Navy Yard area of Southeast Washington, in a part of the city where numerous other lawmakers live. Cuellar said he was accosted by three people, at least two of them with weapons, who demanded his white 2019 Toyota Crossover. “I do have a black belt in karate, but when you got two or three guns pointed at you, I said, ‘Here, you can have the car,’” Cuellar said. He added that President Biden called him Tuesday to “check up on me.” He said they did not discuss the state of crime in the nation’s capital. Bowser texted Cueller to reiterate that police “would do anything to catch the suspect. Carjackings in many U.S. cities rose from 2020 through 2022. Unlike D.C., many of those cities have reported a year-to-date decrease. Carjackings in Chicago are down 28 percent compared with last year, and in New Orleans, which saw a sharp increase from 2019 to 2022, there has been a 33 percent decrease compared with 2022.