Spree Of Robberies, Car Thefts Drive Chicago Crime To New Highs

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Aug 17, 2023 - 09:00 PM

By Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner of Wirepoints

In the span of just two days in early August, a crew of armed robbers hit Chicago’s Logan Square 19 separate times. That crew helped spike robberies 49% in Chicago last month compared to the same period a year ago. In the South Loop, hundreds of youth mobbed, looted and trashed a 7-Eleven, resulting in 40 arrests, all part of an increase in Chicago “teen takeovers.” And car thefts, after jumping dramatically in 2022, are up yet again this year by more than 100 percent.

Chicago’s crime wave is still on the move nearly two-thirds of the way through 2023. The number of total major crimes committed in the city through July is 34 percent higher than the same period in 2022, which in turn was 33 percent higher than in 2021, according to the city’s crime data portal.

2023’s crimes are following the same path as in years past, but at a much higher level than before. Each month, about 1,600 more major crimes – including homicides, criminal sexual assaults, robberies, burglaries, major thefts, aggravated batteries and motor vehicle thefts – are committed in Chicago compared to 2022.

Media might celebrate the fact that murders are down slightly this year, but the news isn’t as good as it sounds. Murders are dropping much faster in the nation’s biggest cities. And even then, every one of the other six major crimes are up (burglaries, barely). Robberies are up 18%, Aggravated Batteries are up 9% and Theft Over $500 is up 10% – not to mention the 113% increase in car thefts.

A few months ago, Wirepoints warned that “deterrence” policies were needed immediately to bring crime down. Unfortunately, deterrence hasn’t happened. If anything, Mayor Brandon Johnson’s rhetoric has likely contributed to Chicago’s ongoing criminal activity. His “kids being silly” defense back in April and July’s “not baby Al Capones,” push back, coupled with his longer history of other criminal justice comments, are the opposite of the attitude Chicago needs.

Here are the latest facts about Chicago crime:

Robberies and motor vehicle thefts are large drivers of Chicago’s crime surge. The latest CPD Compstat data YTD through August 13 shows robberies are running 20 percent higher compared to last year and car-thefts are up by nearly 110 percent.

Robberies blew up in July and August due to a spree of activity by Chicago’s criminals, many of which made the news:

  • A criminal group committed 62 armed robberies across the city in early July. The armed robberies have happened downtown, and on the North, Northwest and West sides. In each incident, police said the suspects got out of a car with guns and robbed their victims, sometimes stealing their cars and attacking them.”
  • Another group used a stolen car to commit a string of 8 robberies all on Aug. 13th. “In each incident, three to six men wearing dark colored clothing and black ski masks jumped out of a stolen car, displayed multiple firearms at victims, including rifles, stole their property and fled, according to Chicago police.”
  • The above-mentioned crimes in Logan Square, which was hit with 19 robberies in just two days. “In all of the robberies, two people in stolen Kias and Hyundais got out of their car armed with handguns and demanded the victims’ belongings. Victims were injured in more than one incident, police said.”

The city is suffering from an average of about 2,500 car thefts a month, far higher than during the same period last year. As mentioned above, it’s one of the major reasons for Chicago’s surge. However, the increase over 2022 is unlikely to last – at least on a monthly basis. The city’s jump in motor thefts began in July of last year, maxing out at nearly 3,200 thefts in October. 

That’s likely cold comfort to the city’s victims, as car thefts in 2023 will still more than likely end up far higher than their 2022 total.

The decline in carjackings is not as positive as it seems. You’ll hear from plenty in the media that carjackings in Chicago are down. While that’s true, what the stories don’t mention is that the increase in motor vehicle theft has more than supplanted the drop in carjackings. Criminals began resorting less to carjackings in mid-2002 when they figured out it was infinitely easier to steal cars, in particular Kias and Hyundais. Those thefts have more than made up for the decline in carjackings, multiple times over. 

Chicagoans this year have experienced 257 fewer carjackings compared to Jan.-Jul. of 2022, but car thefts in that same period are up by nearly 9,100. A total of 17,000 cars have already been stolen in Chicago so far this year, compared to 21,000 for all of last year.

Homicides are down, but other big cities are doing far better. The one major crime item to show a drop in Chicago is homicides, down 6 percent compared to last year, according to the CPD’s August 13 (Week 33) CompStat numbers. Chicago has suffered 389 murders vs. 416 during the same period in 2022.

Unfortunately, even that decline is tempered by the fact that the nation’s other major cities have seen their own murders drop much more than that. Los Angeles homicides are down 25% this year. Philadelphia’s are down 23%. Houston by 22%. And New York is down 12%.

Chicago’s murders – the actual number – still dwarf those of the other big cities. Unless Philly suffers from a massive increase in bloodshed, Chicago is guaranteed to lead the nation in the total number of homicides for the 12th year in a row. 

For a full report of homicides by the nation’s largest 75 cities, see Chicago, New Orleans were the nation’s murder capitals in 2022 – A Wirepoints survey of America’s 75 largest cities