Crime continues its climb in Chicago, with spikes in burglaries, thefts and stolen motor vehicles

The police department said carjackings are down 11% from last year but still numbered 306 in January and February. Shootings are also down slightly from this time last year, which was the most violent in decades.

SHARE Crime continues its climb in Chicago, with spikes in burglaries, thefts and stolen motor vehicles
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Sun-Times file

Crime in Chicago has continued to rise the first two months of the year, with steep spikes in burglaries, thefts and stolen motor vehicles, according to the latest police data.

At least 88 people have been murdered in Chicago this year, up from 85 at the same time last year. Aggravated batteries are up 15%, robberies up 10% and sexual assaults up 9%, according to the data released Tuesday.

Property crimes registered even sharper increases: Thefts up 61%, burglaries 33% and motor vehicle thefts 45%. The last category does not include carjackings, which the department defines as vehicles taken by force.

The department said carjackings are down 11% from last year but still numbered 306 in January and February. Shootings are also down slightly from this time last year, though more people were shot in February than the same month last year.

Overall, violent crime was up 4% compared to last year, which was one of the most violent years in recent decades. The numbers are starker when compared to 2019, before the pandemic and the steady increase in crime that has occurred since then.

At least 386 people have been shot in Chicago this year compared to 236 at this time in 2019. There have been 92 murders this year compared to 47 over the same period in 2019.

Overall, the number of victims of violent crime is up almost 8% when compared to this time in 2019.

However, some crimes have dropped since then, the new data shows. Sexual assaults and aggravated batteries are down 9% and burglaries are down 26%.

In a statement accompanying the latest statistics, the police department once again highlighted its vehicular hijacking task force which was expanded to round-the-clock shifts in February. The task force includes the state police and about two dozen other law enforcement agencies.

Chicago police made 238 arrests that were “motor vehicle related,” including 47 for carjackings.

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