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Feds Targeting Carjacking In East Texas, Other States

The Justice Department announced that 11 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices have established a carjacking task force to focus efforts and resources on this critical public safety threat.

“The Justice Department has no higher priority than keeping our communities safe. We do so by targeting the most significant drivers of violent crime and acting as a force multiplier for our state and local law enforcement partners. We’re seeing results — with violent crime declining broadly nationwide,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. 

“Today, we are launching seven new carjacking task forces across the country to build on the success of task forces in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Tampa, where available data shows that carjacking rates are now falling. When prosecutors, officers, agents, and analysts come together to crunch data, share intelligence, and apply best practices, we can make real progress in the fight against all forms of violent crime, including carjacking.”

In keeping with the Department’s Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Violent Crime, the task forces represent a strategic enforcement priority for the Department, focusing federal resources on identifying, investigating, and prosecuting the most significant drivers of violent crime.

Building on the initial efforts of and best practices learned from carjacking task forces in the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the District of Columbia, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and Middle District of Florida, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in the following seven districts are announcing the creation of carjacking task forces in their communities:

  • District of Oregon
  • Eastern District of Texas
  • Northern District of Alabama
  • Northern District of California
  • Eastern District of Louisiana
  • Southern District of Mississippi
  • Western District of Washington

Carjacking and other violent crime task forces have proven to be a practical part of successful violent crime reduction strategies by focusing on significant crime drivers and taking violent offenders off the streets of our communities. For example, carjackings in Philadelphia declined by 31% from 2022 to 2023, and armed carjackings are down 28% in the District of Columbia this year compared to the same period in 2023. In Chicago, carjackings decreased 29% from a high in 2021 through the end of 2023.

The U.S. Attorney’s Offices, FBI, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) formed task forces working alongside state, local, Tribal, and territorial law enforcement partners. At initial kickoff meetings, task force members will come together to institute expedited sharing and prompt action procedures related to car thefts, carjackings, and the recovery of stolen or suspect vehicles — as well as effective evidence-gathering and technology exploitation strategies. The task forces will also collaborate on how to use federal sentencing enhancements for cases where adults use juveniles to commit carjackings, as well as work with state and local authorities to ensure the appropriate handling of juvenile suspects. The task forces will also assist state and local officials seeking Justice Department grant funding for juvenile intervention and diversion resources.