Six years ago, carjackings were an epidemic in Motown with 1,231 reported incidents. Detroit Police Chief James Craig even reported an attempt while in his cruiser to The Detroit Free Press. Tougher enforcement measures and longer jail terms helped that figure fall to 701 incidents in 2013.
To fight back, the police created a carjacking task force charged with ridding the city of the crime. Police also started the Lighthouse program that encourages gas stations to install better lighting and surveillance equipment. Even with these measures, some citizens have reportedly started carrying firearms while filling up.
While the stats certainly show a gradual improvement, Detroit can't start celebrating yet. Numbers through November 17, 2014, showed 485 cases so far – more than one per day. That's already three times higher than the roughly 160 incidents in New York City for all of last year, despite its much larger population. Los Angeles had just 33 in 2013. A city closer in size to Motown, like Baltimore, MD, reported 176 carjackings in 2012. Clearly, there are still major improvements to be made in curbing this particular crime in the Motor City.
Those wishing to reduce their odds of being carjacked will be interested in an analysis of Detroit's 2014 carjacking data, performed by The Detroit Free Press, which found that streets and alleys are the most likely places for the crime to take place. Gas stations are second and people's driveways rank a close third. Most incidents occur between 8 PM and 12 AM, and men are twice as likely to be targeted as women.