INDIANAPOLIS — IMPD warns community members about the concerning rise in carjackings so far this year. Robbery Branch Captain Dulin Nelson said they are investigating 74% more now than at this point last year.
“A lot of times it’s a crime of opportunity,” Nelson said. “The best thing you can do is not make yourself the easiest opportunity they have.”
Like other cities across the country, Indy is also seeing a significant rise in carjackings. At this point in the year, IMPD’s investigated 108 carjackings versus 62 at this point in 2020. Police remind everyone there are ways to better protect themselves.
“I would suggest, recommend, that you comply with the suspect, give them the vehicle, turn over the keys and get out of the vehicle as soon as you can,” Nelson advised.
Nelson said carjackings are happening across the city, not just in one particular area. However, he adds they seem to target gas stations and parking garages.
“Places where people are getting in and out of their vehicle pretty quickly,” Nelson said.
Detectives also notice thieves targeting people on the roads.
“There’s been instances where someone’s driving down the street, a car jacker may be in the car already with his friends or partners, whatever, and they’ll pull up and bump your vehicle, causing minor damage,” Nelson explained. “You pull over, try to do the right thing to exchange information and at that point they would commit the carjacking.”
Police urge people instead to find a well-lit area to pull over and call officers before getting out of their vehicle. They also advise giving police a call if you see someone broken down on the side of the road, especially after dark.
“I know people want to be a good Samaritan,” Nelson said. “But in this time, it’d be a good idea not to. The best thing you can do for that person is continue driving and get on your phone and call the police so that they can come out and assist.”
Nelson said along with carjackings, residential robberies have increased this year over last too. IMPD reports a 54% increase. But business robberies have decreased by 34%, internet-based robberies have decreased by 38% and street robberies have decreased by 9%.