Philadelphia/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 14, 2024
Philadelphia's Carjacking Rate Plummets by 31% Amidst Efforts of Joint Task ForceSource: Unsplash/ Taneli Lahtinen

The streets of Philly are seeing some reprieve from the surge of carjackings thanks to the collaborative muscle of the Philadelphia Carjacking Task Force which has been flexing its law enforcement prowess for two years now, authorities held a press conference at the U.S. Attorney's Office to tout the force's victories against the carjacking scourge that's recently plagued the city, with federal charges piling up against 103 officials finger the drop in the city's carjackings—a sharp 31% decline from the 2022 peak—to the task force's concerted efforts.

As the numbers roll out, Philadelphia's carjackings have taken a nosedive, with only 900 reported in 2023 down from a harrowing 1,311 high-water mark the prior year and the current year's first quarter figures signaling another potential downtrend, the task force, a joint juggernaut comprising the ATF, FBI, and local police, has wrapped its arms around 59 cases leading to federal charges from January 2022 through March 2024, according to a recent report.

"We want our community to know that significant strides are being made on their behalf by the Philadelphia Carjacking Task Force," U.S. Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero said, heralding the task force's initiatives and its message to criminals that severe sentences, some up to 15 years or even life, loom for those caught in the act, with 103 defendants all federally charged in relation to 121 carjackings, Romero specifically called out the sentencing of miscreants like Dashawn Pringle and John Nusslein, their grim tales of violence and fatal outcomes ended with long prison stints looming, with Pringle netting 10½ years and Nusslein facing up to 25, Angel Fayez and Kevin Antun's crime spree began with a carjacking, now await sentencing that could slap them with seven years to life behind bars.

ATF Special Agent in Charge Eric J. DeGree gave props to his squad for their relentless pursuit of justice, wielding ATF's crime gun intelligence tools to track the bullets back to the bad guys, he highlighted a case where duo Tarik Chambers and Nikeem Leach-Hilton bagged three sequential carjackings, then in their haste collided with and critically injured an elderly driver, each now imprisoned for over 18 years, their accomplices Rashad Johnson-Price and Khasir Lynch, have padded the statistic of successful prosecutions pleading guilty to additional carjackings each facing nearly ten years in the slammer when judgment day comes.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Wayne A. Jacobs pinpointed the Bureau's role in the task force, reviewing notable cases like that of Shamire Young and Robert Riles who conducted armed carjackings and are dealing with their own reels of consequences, with Young sentenced to seven years and Riles over 11 years, as Jacobs pointedly stated, “Whether a single subject or a group of subjects — with criminal history or without — the message is simple. Your actions have consequences,” vowing the FBI's commitment to holding criminals accountable, working alongside the task force.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Kevin J. Bethel applauded the decreased carjacking numbers, attributing the success to the task force's relentless pursuit of violent offenders, and emphasized the importance of teamwork between local and federal forces in bringing down the rates of violent crime in the city.