DC mayor blames ‘social media challenge’ for carjackings, offers free steering wheel locks for some vehicles
Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced new action to combat the city’s carjacking problem, saying the city will hand out free steering wheel locks for some cars.
Bowser made the announcement on Thursday, stating that Washington, D.C. residents who own a 2011-2021 Kia or Hyundai vehicle are eligible to receive a free steering wheel lock that can be picked up at police stations throughout the city, as carjackings in D.C are dramatically higher when compared to last year.
“Car theft is a serious problem – it is incredibly stressful and often costly and time-consuming for the victims, and it is dangerous to have these stolen cars on the road,” Bowser said. “I encourage all DC residents who own a 2011-2021 Kia or Hyundai to pick up their free steering wheel locks as soon as possible from a District station to prevent theft. As MPD and our public safety partners work together to prevent car theft and hold accountable those who are stealing cars in our city, this is one way we can work together to proactively prevent crime.”
A press release from Bowser’s office states that a recent social media challenge “encourages using a USB cable to steal these types of cars” has led to an increase of Kia and Hyundai car thefts.
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According to data from Washington, D.C. police, carjackings are up by 112% when compared to the same time last year. So far in 2023, 1,035 carjackings have occurred, versus 489 at this point in time in 2022.
Most recently, a 15-year-old boy is accused of attempting to carjack a senior citizen who was leaving to go to chemotherapy on Feb. 17.
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The woman told WJLA that she told the teenager he wasn’t taking her car.
“Next thing I know, he walked up talking about, ‘give me your keys, I got a gun.’ I said, ‘baby, you better shoot me, because you’re not taking my car,” the woman said.
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A police report states that the teenager eventually had to be transported to the hospital for injuries “incurred by [the victims] family members.”
Fox News’ Lauren Blanchard contributed to this report.
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