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Carjackings in Washington, D.C., have shot up nearly 74% in 2021 compared to last year. 

There have been 186 carjackings since January to July 12 of this year, according to D.C. police data, compared to 107 during the same timeframe in 2020. 

Mayor Muriel Bowser has not responded to multiple requests for comment on the crimes and inquiries on how to combat them, but D.C. police revealed they launched a carjacking task force using “bait cars” to catch suspects in the city. 

“We do deploy bait cars at times. Most recently at the 2nd District they use it but we want to make sure that the tactic certainly works for the specific crime we happen to be targeting at that particular time,” D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee said Tuesday. 

The move comes after a string of violent carjackings in the city, with suspects and perpetrators often being teenaged D.C. residents. 

Just last week in the city, officers arrested three young girls – aged 12, 14 and 16 – for a botched carjacking attempt where they allegedly used a Taser on the victim.

Charges, however, were dropped against two of the young girls, with only one girl now facing charges of attempted carjacking. Police are still searching for a fourth suspect.

D.C.’s carjacking problem also grabbed the nation’s attention in March when teenaged girls were arrested in the murder of an Uber Eats driver during an attempted carjacking that was caught on video. 

Other violent crimes in the city have also increased between January and July of this year when compared to 2020. Homicides, for example, currently sit at 101 for this year, compared to 99 during the same time period last year, police data show. Robberies also increased from 900 in 2020 to 912 in 2021. 

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