To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

"They don't know how to steal your car, but they can still put a gun to your head"

You might have seen news stories in recent days about car thefts decreasing as overall car purchases decrease, with Baltimore as an example of the phenomenon. It makes sense. And is true...to a point. Baltimore Sun:

In Baltimore, the number of cars stolen has gone from 6,662 in 2006 to 5,686 in 2007 to just over 5,100 last year. And through Jan. 10, car theft dropped 35 percent this year, compared with the same period in 2008, from 131 to 85. The trend is similar in Baltimore County, where just over 3,000 cars are stolen each year.

There are two reasons for this, Baltimore County Police Sgt. Robert Jagoe told me during a morning spent with the Regional Auto Theft Task Force.

First, electronic transponders in keys, common in most cars since 2002, have virtually eliminated stealing cars for the sheer fun of it. To start, the car's ignition system must match a code on the key; hot-wiring doesn't work anymore on any but the older model cars, and while it's possible to bypass the new safety systems, it can't be done quickly or on the street.

The bad news is that armed carjackings are up. "They don't know how to steal your car, but they can still put a gun to your head," Jagoe said.

The number of juveniles arrested on car theft charges in the city and county has dropped from a high of 311 in 1995 to 138 last year, while the number of adults arrested on the same charges has risen from 376 in 1995 to 772 in 2008. In 1995, juveniles made up nearly half all auto theft arrests; they now make up only about 15 percent of lockups.
We can't even get a fucking silver lining in this deal? Why can't car thefts just decrease without armed carjackings increasing? Is that too much to ask?

Full story here, it's worth a read.

Bonus Baltimore related story: I've never known anyone who has been involved in a car jacking; however I worked in a bar with a burly lesbian who fought off a potential scooter jacking. Scooter jacking is actually pretty common in the city because it's pretty easy to knock someone off a scooter at a red light or stop sign, plus scooters have the added benefit of probably not being registered. All this makes them an attractive target for young thugs who can either use them for running drugs between corners, or just sell them for cash.

Anyways, the burly lesbian was in her car behind a women on a scooter when a rather lazy scooter jacker walked up to the scooter and told the lady to get the fuck off her scooter. The burly lesbian got out of her car with her auto club and threatened to beat the shit out of the guy if he didn't walk away. The guy was smart and didn't want to fuck with a burly, South African lesbian. End of story.

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