House Grail is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

13 Chicago Carjacking Statistics (2022 Update)

man carjacking woman's car

Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.

Carjacking has become more commonplace over the years. Stealing vehicles has long been a favored offense of many criminals, but carjacking is unique in that the car robbery usually takes place while the car owner is present, which can be a much more escalated and potentially dangerous offense.

The city of Chicago is no stranger to crime, but this Midwest metropolis is currently experiencing a deep current of violent crimes as they relate to carjacking. Let’s take a look at the numbers and data, including Carjacking Frequency Data, Victims, Trends, and Patterns, and Carjacking Basics.

divider 5

The 13 Statistics About Carjackings in Chicago, Illinois

  1. There were 1,416 carjackings in Chicago in 2020.
  2. By the end of 2021, the city was on pace to set a new record for carjackings by upwards of 44%.
  3. Only 10% maximum of carjackings result in an arrest.
  4. Chicago currently suffers from the most carjackings of any city in the United States.
  5. 64% of carjacking victims are men.
  6. The car most commonly stolen is the Toyota Camry.
  7. Tuesdays are the biggest days for carjackings.
  8. Carjacking is a form of violent crime, which has seen a 7.5% spike across the city.
  9. Carjackings are most on the rise in the northwest and south sides of Chicago, with rates up over 40% in some neighborhoods.
  10. Carjacking is actually an unofficial term.
  11. Carjackings most often occur when someone initially leaves the vehicle.
  12. Police say victims should give up their car in the event of a carjacking.
  13. Carjackings can take as little as 15 seconds to complete.

divider 4

Carjacking Frequency Data

1. There were 1,416 carjackings in Chicago in 2020.

(Civicfed)

Chicago recorded a record number of carjackings in 2020. The data collected by the city and Chicago police show a total of 1,416 reported carjackings in 2020 alone. That number was a massive increase over 2019, which saw just north of 600 such incidents. The number in 2020 represents a 125% increase over 2019 figures.

The 2020 number averages out to 3.87 carjackings every single day. That figure alarmed city officials but despite prevention efforts, the number of carjackings continues to rise year on year.

man carjacking
Image Credit: photofriday, Shutterstock

2. By the end of 2021, the city was on pace to set a new record for carjackings by upwards of 44%.

(US News)

Even after a record-setting 2020, 2021 looked like it would surpass the figures from the previous year. Preliminary data shows that Chicago is on pace to break the record set in 2020 by 44%. If the data holds true, the official number is expected to be above 2,000 carjackings reported in 2021. If we extrapolate the expected increase of 44% from 2020, the projected number of carjacking incidents is 2,039. That marker would spell another troubling increase for the city of Chicago.


3. Only 10% maximum of carjackings result in an arrest.

(Civicfed)

Despite the high volume of carjacking crimes, very few of the victims see justice. According to data publicly released by Cook County and compiled by Civicfed, the average percentage of carjacking incidents that result in an arrest is just 10%. Those figures date back to 2001. The highest percentage of arrests occurred in 2013 but that year still only saw 15% of carjackings result in an arrest. And an arrest does not even guarantee a conviction. There is no readily available data on how many of these cases were successfully prosecuted, or prosecuted at all.

Many victims simply do not get a good look at the perpetrator due to the speed at which these crimes can happen. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many criminals are wearing face coverings that help to conceal their identities without standing out in a crowd. Oftentimes, the cars are stripped down for parts and sold off before law enforcement can make an arrest or find the vehicle making pinning the crime on a single individual difficult.


4. Chicago currently suffers from the most carjackings of any city in the United States.

(Chicago Tribune)

If you think these numbers sound high, you are right. Chicago currently suffers from the highest number of carjackings in the United States. No other city sees the number of crimes of this kind like Chicago does.

Chicago recently beat out Detroit for the city suffering from the most carjacking crimes.

divider 4

Victims, Trends, and Patterns

5. 64% of carjacking victims are men.

(ABC Chicago)

Men outnumber women carjacking victims almost two to one, recent data shows. This number shows a skew towards men as being targeted more often than women at a much higher rate than expected. One reason that could explain the discrepancy is the reluctance for car thieves to target cars with children inside. A stolen car with children on board is going to generate a much greater police response than an empty car. In fact, the Chicago Police Department even suggests telling would-be car thieves when there are children in the car as a deterrent method.


6. The car most commonly stolen is the Toyota Camry.

(ABC Chicago)

Out of all of the cars on the road, the Toyota Camry is the most stolen via carjacking. That is likely due in part to the law of large numbers. The Camry is also one of the most common cars on the road. More Camrys mean more opportunities to be the victim of a crime. It also shows that carjackers in Chicago are not picky about what kinds of cars they target. Regular everyday cars are targeted just as much, or more, as luxury cars.


7. Tuesdays are the most common day for carjackings.

(ABC Chicago)

Oddly enough, Tuesdays came up as the day with the most reported carjackings. According to data obtained by ABC Chicago, more carjackings take place on a Tuesday than any other day. Police officers thought that the most common days for car theft would be either Friday or Saturday, not Tuesday. When asked to comment, the police had no concrete answers for why Tuesdays suffer more carjackings than other days of the week.

buildings in Chicago
Image Credit: juergen polle, Pixabay

divider 4

Carjacking Basics And How To Best Protect Yourself

8. Carjacking is a form of violent crime, which has seen a 7.5% spike across the city.

(Axios)

Carjacking counts as a violent crime. It is a crime with a high degree of physical assault and altercation as well as a high monetary value attached. The recent spike in carjackings has played into a city-wide increase in violent crime overall. Violent crime is up 7.5% in Chicago and the massive number of these carjackings is only helping to keep that number elevated year over year.


9. Carjackings are most on the rise in the northwest and south sides of Chicago, with rates up over 40% in some neighborhoods.

(Axios)

The rise in violent crime rates, including carjackings, is not evenly distributed throughout the city. Though crime is up in every neighborhood, some locations are suffering more than others. According to Axios, some neighborhoods are seeing crime rising at rates as high as 46%. Neighborhoods in the northwest and southern parts of Chicago have seen large spikes in carjackings that are outpacing the rest of the city as a whole. ABC Chicago identified a series of western neighborhoods where carjacking rates are quadruple that of the city average.


10. Carjacking is actually an unofficial term.

(Chicago Police Department)

Surprisingly, carjacking is not an official judicial term. The word carjacking is actually a spliced word from the official designation which is car hijacking or vehicular hijacking. The term is used to differentiate between car theft and vehicular hijacking. Car theft still results in a vehicle being stolen but it happens out of view and without the knowledge of the owner. Car hijacking usually includes the victim being physically removed from a vehicle and in the presence of the crime as it occurs.


11. Carjackings most often occur when someone initially leaves the vehicle.

(Chicago Police Department)

Carjackings can happen anywhere at any time, but the most common time for a carjacking to take place is the moment a driver steps out of their vehicle. Whether the car is running or not, potential car thieves wait for a driver to leave the car and then they come up and demand their keys, and oftentimes their phone as well. Sometimes these demands are enhanced by the presence of a weapon. At this moment the driver is the most vulnerable, confused, and the car is right there and unlocked. The thieves know the driver has the keys on them, making them a perfect target.


12. Police say victims should give up their car in the event of a carjacking.

(Chicago Police Department)

If a person is unfortunate enough to become the victim of a carjacking, police say that they should simply give the car up. If the car is taken, let it drive away. If someone demands their keys, they should give them up. Why? Because cars are replaceable, lives are not. To avoid dangerous situations such as assault, murder, and high-speed chases, police have advocated for simply giving up the vehicle in these tense situations even though it goes against people’s base instincts.

man being carjacked
Image Credit: Gorgev, Shutterstock

13. Carjackings can take as little as 15 seconds to complete.

(Jefferson County Sherriff)

Crime can happen in the blink of an eye. According to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, carjackings can take as little as 15 seconds to play out from start to finish. That is incredibly fast and can leave a victim without their car in mere moments.

Not every carjacking is so fast. Other incidents can take much longer to unfold, especially if there is a physical altercation or scheme involved. For example, carjackers will purposefully rear-end a victim and pretend to want to inspect the damage and swap information only to jump into the unsuspecting vehicle and drive away. These kinds of incidents can take longer, sometimes minutes, to occur but the result is still the same.

divider 1

Frequently Asked Questions About Chicago Carjackings

What can I do to prevent a carjacking?

The best thing to do to prevent a carjacking is to be aware of your surroundings and to be aware of the area. There are pockets of Chicago where the rate of violent crime, including carjackings, is much higher than average. The police say to trust your instincts. If something does not feel right, leave the area. Remember that a majority of carjacking incidents begin as soon as a driver leaves their vehicle, being aware of your immediate surroundings can help see threats before they happen.

Also, never, ever, leave your car idling when you are not inside. Whether it is at the gas station, on the curb, or in front of a mailbox or ATM. If you get out of your vehicle, shut it off, take the keys with you and lock the car behind you.

What do I do if I have been carjacked?

Do not engage. Give up the vehicle. Leave the area. Call 911. The police are adamant about telling victims to leave the car and the vehicle to the perpetrator and leave the area as quickly as possible. Again, cars are replaceable, lives are not.

This might go against people’s base instinct to protect what is theirs but simply putting your own safety first is the best thing to do in any crime situation but especially during a carjacking. There are cases of carjackings that result in a violent assault on the driver or even murder. The best thing to do is to ensure your own safety, leave the vehicle and call the police ASAP. Many times, if reported in a timely manner, the vehicle can be recovered.

What kinds of cars are carjacked the most?

Standard sedans. The most common cars on the road are the most commonly targeted. According to the data, the Toyota Camry is the most commonly stolen car. The other car models that round out the top five include the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Nissan Altima, the Chevy Malibu, and the Honda CRV. (ABC Chicago)

Contrary to popular belief, luxury cars are not targeted at higher rates than average cars. The top five most stolen cars in Chicago include three sedans and two SUVs. None of the cars on the list are expressly considered luxury vehicles.

Toyota Corolla
Image Credit: Pixabay

Are the carjacking numbers in Chicago projected to decrease?

No. Current projections have the number of carjackings remaining at similar levels. The city has added resources to try and have the number come down including 40 additional officers for the Carjacking Taskforce. However, there is doubt that the number of carjackings will fall back to normal levels in the coming year. At this point, a flat year or even a slight decrease will be preferable to the exponential rise that the city has been battling over the past couple of years. That will still put the number of carjackings between 1,400 and 2,000.

Related Read: 15 Car Theft Statistics and Facts

divider 7

Conclusion

These facts and statistics regarding Chicago carjackings have been updated for 2022 using the latest available data and news sources. To help better protect the public this information is released publicly periodically by the City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department. Hopefully, the rate of these violent crimes starts to trend downwards this year but the numbers from the past few years have not looked good. Information and statistics can only help to arm people with the knowledge they need to put themselves in the best position to avoid becoming a victim.


Featured Image Credit: Pormezz, Shutterstock

Related posts

OUR categories

Project ideas

Hand & power tools

woodworking

Garden

Automotive