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The original item was published from 1/29/2021 6:57:13 AM to 2/6/2021 12:00:02 AM.

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Posted on: January 29, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Carjacking Skyrockets in the Chicago Area-Precautions

Message from chief

RPD Warns Residents, “It’s not only a Chicago problem”-

As Carjacking Skyrockets in the Chicago area, Riverside Police 

Warn Residents, “It’s not only a Chicago problem”

Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel wanted to remind residents that carjacking’s, not only a Chicago problem”

“If you put Riverside families at risk though carjacking, then be prepared to go to prison or federal prison,” said Chief Thomas Weitzel. “Riverside will respond to this increasing threat across our area and pledge closer collaboration with our state and local partners to reverse the alarming trend.”

Chief Weitzel is calling on the formation of wider ranging Task Force partnerships than has been announced by Chicago Police. 

“We’ve seen a disturbing number of carjacking’s the past few months in the area surrounding Riverside,” said Chief Weitzel. “I’m grateful for Chicago Police Departments’ internal collaboration within CPD, but the crime pattern needs a full regional approach. Carjacking’s are violent crimes that harm our communities and threaten the safety of our public,” stated Chief Weitzel, “Chicago Police, Suburban Police, the FBI, ATF, the Sheriff’s Office, Cook County State’s Attorney Office, and federal prosecutors all need to work closely in order to stop this trend and find those responsible. This combined effort would go a long way in quickly shutting down these violent robberies.”

While rare, Riverside has experienced carjacking’s in 2020.

Avoid being a carjacking target with these additional precautions:

  • Always have your mobile phone handy—and charged.
  • Avoid being alone in your vehicle in certain areas, such as high crime neighborhoods, isolated roads and intersections and desolate areas of parking lots. 
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Pay special attention to people who seem to be lurking or cars that suspiciously follow you into driveways. Call 911 and use your key fob or other car alarm if you feel a threat.
  • Be wary of how carjackers lure victims. These include bumping your car, pretending to be stranded motorists or flashing their lights as if there were something wrong with your car. In each of these scenarios, you might be tempted to pull over—only to have your car taken. Stay inside with the windows shut and the door locked and, if you feel a threat, drive to the nearest police or fire station. 
  • Practice safe parking. Stick to well-lit areas. If you have any doubts about where you parked after the fact, find a security guard to accompany you to your vehicle.
  • Don't sit in your car with the door unlocked or the windows rolled down. 
  • Don’t stop at isolated ATMs, which might put you and your bank accounts as well as your car in danger. 

 Riverside Police Department will continue to find ways to improve service to Riverside residents.  If you have any ideas or suggestions, please contact Chief Tom Weitzel at

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