Detroit Police Chief Cracks Down on Carjacking – and Nearly Becomes a Victim

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Top Tier Gear USA


You know your city has a serious problem when your police chief is nearly a victim of a crime.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig was stopped at a red light a few weeks ago when someone ran up to the passenger side of his unmarked car.

He shared his experience at an anti-carjacking seminar on Monday night:

“There are certain cars each suspect tends to (be attracted) to, and I guess they liked my police car — a police car with lights,” Craig said. “And one suspect jumped out and began running toward the passenger side of my vehicle … As soon as I saw the suspect running to my car, I accelerated out of harm’s way.

“And then, candidly, I got angry … I said, ‘I can’t believe this just almost happened.’”

As of Monday, there have been 582 carjackings in Detroit, a 1 percent decrease compared the same period in 2012, according to Detroit police spokeswoman Kelly Miner.

Chief Craig called the carjackings “a crisis.”  “We have to ask ourselves why this happens in Detroit, and are we going to continue to accept that,” said Craig, who added that carjackings in Detroit have been going on “too long.” “We can talk about shootings and homicide but this is the one crime that drives fear in this city,” Craig said.

In August, the Detroit Police Department and HEAT (Help Eliminate Auto Theft) presented their anti-carjacking “Heatwave Initiative” to residents, community leaders and business owners.

According to Detroit police Detective Brian Fountain, red lights, train crossings, fast food and other drive-throughs, and parking lots, especially vehicles parked farther from the store, offer the most attractive spots for carjackers to look for victims.  It usually only takes about 7 seconds for a carjacker to size up a target.

Police added that when a carjacker has a gun, there is an 85% chance they’ll use it.

Craig, who joined the Detroit police force in July, said carjacking is “almost like a way of life in Detroit.”

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