A MICA student had her Volkswagen carjacked on West Lafayette Avenue, the eighth carjacking in 2022 in Bolton Hill. There were none reported last year, although both in the neighborhood and citywide these incidents have been on the rise for a few years.
According to a BPD detective, the incident occurred on Sept. 27, at 6:17 pm in the 100 block of W. Lafayette St. The victim was sitting in her vehicle when she was approached by two unknown males who had their faces covered with masks. They demanded her vehicle and pulled her from the Volkswagen Tuareg. In her exit the victim obtained a laceration to the forehead.
Although there are similarities in some of the carjackings the suspects are not the same, the detective said. “I can say this with certainty because on Sept. 24th the individuals responsible for some of the carjackings earlier in the year in your neighborhood admitted to their guilt in court and were detained.” The detective was in touch with BHCA’s safety committee chair, Jim Prost.
He said that of the eight incidents, three had been solved and there were warrants out for suspects in two others.
There were 383 victims of carjacking citywide reported to the Baltimore Police Department by the end of July, up nearly 50 percent from the previous year. Police say most of the crimes involve young men or boys, frequently but not always armed. “The majority of them do not have driver’s licenses,” Police Col. Richard Worley told WYPR. “But that’s the minor offense. The [major] offense is that you’re using guns to make these carjackings.”
Carjackings have become a substitute for a less dangerous form of car theft in the past that commonly involved adolescent joyriders. In those days breaking into or entering unlocked vehicles and “hotwiring” them was a simpler, safer crime. With greater reliance on key fobs and remote locking device, car manufacturers have, ironically, made car ownership more dangerous.
Police say these steps you can take may reduce the risk of becoming a victim:
- Whenever possible, park in a well-lit, populated area
- Stay alert and don’t be distracted by your phone
- Have your keys ready but not out in the open
If you do become a victim, try to recall the perpetrators’ physical appearances, including their shoes and hair styles. Comply with their demands and call 911, BPD advises.