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Carjacking task force created to address ‘disturbing’ trend in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A new crime prevention initiative is underway to combat carjackings.

According to Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, they are up more than 50% in 2021 compared to 2020, which is a main reason why IMPD are now teaming up with the FBI.

“The numbers are disturbing,” Dulin Nelson with IMPD’s Robbery Division said.

To help bring change, IMPD have created the Carjacking Task Force within its Robbery Branch. The task force will be made up of IMPD robbery detectives, FBI Violent Crimes Task Force officers and FBI special agents.

“Because of the budget, there’s some equipment … surveillance equipment and so forth that the federal government may have that we don’t have,” Nelson said.

“It’s another example of partnerships that we’ve had that we’re developing between local, state, and federal authorities,” IMPD’s William Young said.

IMPD say the suspects arrested for carjacking will have their case presented to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for review and that could mean stiffer penalties.

“Sometimes it depends on how well the case is put together, the elements of the crime,” Nelson said.

Police say there were 112 carjacking incidents logged between Jan. 1 and June 30 in Indianapolis. They’ve arrested 25 people, 13 of whom are juveniles. Eight of them are younger than 16. Hoosiers who have successfully completed an approved driver education program must be at least 16 years and 90 days old to obtain a driver’s license.

“There’s a large percentage of those of those who are juveniles under the age of 16, so we think it’s something that needs to be addressed,” Nelson said.

Nelson says having nothing to do during the pandemic may be a factor.

“Sometimes it’s boredom. Sometimes it’s a dare. There’s been so many, they don’t think there’s much risk involved on their part to committing such a crime,” Nelson said.

Despite this new help police say tips from the public remain essential.

“It’s just as important that our community members provide us with tips and information in regards to armed robberies and/or carjackings,” Young said.

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