Philadelphia reaches 1,000 carjackings for first time ever

Philadelphia carjackings in 2022 soars past previous record of 847 thefts in 2021

Carjackings in Philadelphia have spiked in recent years and on Tuesday vehicle thefts in the City of Brotherly Love reached over 1,000 carjackings that have been reported this year alone, reaching an all-time high.

"Philadelphia goes over 1,000 carjackings for first time ever," Fox 29 Philadelphia reported Wednesday. "1,005 total carjackings at end of day September 27th."

An armed carjacker ambushed a mother and daughter in Philadelphia before making off with their vehicle, police say.

An armed carjacker ambushed a mother and daughter in Philadelphia before making off with their vehicle, police say. (Philadelphia Police Department)

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Fox 29's Steve Keeley reporter said that the city’s number of carjacking had surpassed the previous record of 847 thefts in 2021, which had doubled from 410 carjackings in 2020.

2019 reportedly saw 225 vehicle thefts. 

It is unclear why carjackings have so drastically shot up over the last two years and in January Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw warned the phenomenon was "not normal."

"What's happening here is not normal and I don't want anyone for any minute to begin to normalize this," Outlaw said.

Philadelphia Police investigators work the scene of a fatal overnight shooting on South Street in Philadelphia, Sunday, June 5, 2022. 

Philadelphia Police investigators work the scene of a fatal overnight shooting on South Street in Philadelphia, Sunday, June 5, 2022.  (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

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The police chief speculated that one of the reasons for the increase in vehicle theft, often through armed or violent means, is that it has become a crime of opportunity as deliveries rose during the pandemic and have remained high since. 

The pandemic also normalized mask wearing she said. 

"We also know that this trend is not unique to Philadelphia, as similar increases have been seen across the country during the same time period," she said referring to other cities like Washington, D.C., Detroit and Baltimore where carjackings have jumped by 25 percent, 40 percent and 50 percent respectively since 2021.

Fox News could not immediately reach the Philadelphia Police Department for comment on the latest figures, though a department spokesperson last week also pointed out that the rise in crime in general was not unique to Philadelphia.  

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"Over the past several years, Philadelphia has seen a disturbing spike in the number of violent crime incidents including shootings, homicides, and carjackings. Unfortunately, these incidents have occurred throughout the country, and their occurrence is not unique to Philadelphia," the spokesperson said.

In 2020 Minneapolis saw a staggering 537 percent increase in carjackings between November 2019 to November 2020. Chicago reported a roughly 135 percent increase in all of 2020 and Washington, D.C reported similar figures at a 136 percent increase. 

Fox News' Emma Colton contributed to this report.