Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced new measures to combat the city’s carjacking problem, saying the city will be giving out free steering wheel locks on some cars.
Bowser announced Thursday that Washington, DC residents who own a 2011-2021 Kia or Hyundai vehicle are eligible for a free steering wheel lock that can be picked up at police stations across the city as carjackings in DC become dramatic are higher than in the previous year.
“Car theft is a serious problem — it’s incredibly stressful and often costly and time-consuming for victims, and it’s dangerous to have those stolen cars on the road,” Bowser said. “I encourage all DC residents who own a 2011-2021 Kia or Hyundai to collect their free steering wheel locks from a district location as soon as possible to deter theft. As MPD and our public safety partners work together to prevent auto theft and confiscation and hold accountable those who steal cars in our city, this is one way we can work together to proactively prevent crime.”
A press release from Bowser’s office said that a recent social media challenge “encouraging the use of a USB cable to steal these types of cars” has led to an increase in Kia and Hyundai car thefts.
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FILE – District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks during a news conference November 9, 2022 in Washington. Amid rising crime rates and rising public tensions over gun violence, Bowser and the Legislature are locked in a public dispute over the future of crime prevention in the nation’s capital. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, file)
According to the Washington, DC Police Department, auto thefts are up 112% from the same period last year. So far in 2023, 1,035 carjackings have occurred, up from 489 at this point in 2022.
Most recently, a 15-year-old boy is accused of trying to mug a senior who was about to go for chemotherapy on February 17.
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Mayor Muriel Bowser makes remarks as she and other dignitaries celebrate the opening of Metro’s new headquarters in Washington, DC. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
The woman told WJLA that she told the teen he wouldn’t take her car.
“The next thing I know, he came up to me and said, ‘Give me your keys, I have a gun.’ I said, “Baby, you better shoot me for not taking my car,” the woman said.
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The attempted car theft occurred around 8:30 a.m. Feb. 17 in the 22nd St. neighborhood, according to the Metropolitan Police Department, adding that the 15-year-old suspect got into the senior’s vehicle and demanded “keys” to the car. Police say the victim tried to pull the teenage girl out of the car while she was calling her family for help. (Google Maps)
According to a police report, the teenager was eventually taken to the hospital for “injuries sustained”. [the victims] Family members.”
Fox News’ Lauren Blanchard contributed to this report.
Adam Sabes is a writer for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter @asabes10.