(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, DC Police Chief Robert J. Contee III, and Prince George’s County Police Chief Malik Aziz announced enhanced efforts to combat recent regional carjacking offenses. The cross border initiative between DC and Prince George’s County will focus on greater communication and public awareness around carjackings. There will be an increase in investigative support with additional detectives on the carjacking task force and an expansion of intelligence sharing to address the uptick in carjackings.
“We are focused, in both jurisdictions, on collaborating to make our communities safer for all people,” said Mayor Bowser. “And we are particularly focused on how we reach our young people – how we engage young people so they don’t get involved in violent activity, how we hold them accountable when then do, and how we get them on a more productive and positive path forward. This is not just a regional effort between governments and police departments, it’s about bringing our communities together so that we can keep each other safe and give everyone, regardless of which neighborhood or jurisdiction you live in, the opportunity to thrive.”
One year ago, Mayor Bowser and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) announced a carjacking task force comprised of a team of detectives specialized in solving robberies and other violent crime to address the dramatic increase in carjacking, auto theft, and unauthorized use of vehicle offenses across the District of Columbia. Today, Chief Contee announced that he is expanding the number of detectives assigned to the carjacking task force.
In collaboration with the Prince George’s County Police Department (PGPD), MPD is implementing a cross border initiative where officers from both jurisdictions will work together to address carjackings, robberies and violent crime. Both communities experience similar issues related to crime and are identifying individuals, many of which are juveniles, committing offenses across jurisdictions.
“We have seen a troubling increase in carjackings across our region, driven in large part by juveniles,” said Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks. “Our ecosystem is damaged, and while we are doing everything we can to resolve this issue, it cannot be solved by government and police departments alone. We need our community and families to step up and join us by wrapping their arms around these kids, because they are the future of our community.”
MPD and PGPD will have resources embedded within each department to share information about crimes. The task force is also charged with pinpointing strategies to increase accountability for those responsible for committing violent crimes in the District.
“Today is an opportunity for the community ecosystem to address a serious matter that is affecting all neighborhoods in the District and PG County,” said DC Police Chief Contee. “My hope with the increased collaboration, communication and intelligence sharing with our PGPD counterparts is to hold these offenders accountable and have a noticeable, measurable impact on this issue.”
“Prince George’s County and Washington, DC, share more than just a border; we share a joint future, a collaborative mindset, and a better and safer place where we live, work and play,” said PG County Police Chief Malik Aziz. “The communication between our agencies is around the clock and effective, and our carjacking unit would not be closing as many cases without a strong relationship with our partners at MPD.”
In 2020, MPD arrested 34 adults and 59 juveniles and in 2021, 50 adults and 101 juveniles were arrested for carjacking offenses in the District. As of February 1, 2022 there have been 19 total arrests for carjacking offenses, 14 which were juveniles. Washington, DC, along with other major cities around the nation, is experiencing an increase in carjacking, auto theft, and unauthorized use of vehicle offenses in communities.
Below are ways that drivers can avoid becoming a target of these crimes:
- Always lock your car
- Never leave your vehicle idling/running unattended – even if your key fob is on you, someone can still drive off with your car until it stops or gas runs out
- Always keep track of your keys, never leave them inside the vehicle
- Do not leave children unattended inside your vehicle
- Park in a safe spot
- Stay alert and aware of your surroundings
- If you are a victim of a crime, report it immediately by calling 911
For more information on how to stay safe, please visit mpdc.dc.gov/page/auto-theft-prevention.