As civil order crumbles in Chicago, criminal fashions change
Criminals are responding to opportunity in the decline and fall of civil order in Chicago. Like children deciding which presents to open first on Christmas morning, miscreants in the Windy City must choose among the many opportunities provided by encroaching anarchy. Right now, it looks as though all the cool kid gangsters have decided that carjacking is what's in. CWB Chicago, the feisty monitor of crime in a couple of Chicago's hippest neighborhoods, brings us the astounding increase in carjacking downtown and in other upscale neighborhoods (where the nice cars are to be found).
Through August, "vehicular hijackings" were up 30% year-over-year and up 183% compared to 2015. The Loop saw a 1200% increase vs. 2015 with River North up 500%. The 19th Police District, which includes Lakeview, Uptown, North Center, and the north end of Lincoln Park, is up 200% compared to two years ago.
The criminals are getting more blatant:
In a recent case that resulted in arrests, two Austin men are charged with stopping a Loop hotel's valet driver in traffic while he drove a customer's Audi A5 to a parking lot around 9 p.m. last Tuesday.
22-year-old Amos Gibson, on parole for unlawful use of a weapon, pointed a silver revolver at the valet's head while 19-year-old Danthony Nance opened the passenger-side door and grabbed the keys while demanding control of the car, according to prosecutors.
The 53-year-old valet was not injured, and cops caught up with Gibson and Nance minutes later in the 600 block of South Wabash.
Gibson's charged with attempted vehicular hijacking and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon on parole. His bail is set at $225,000.
Nance, who cops said is an admitted Four Corner Hustler street gang member, is charged with attempted vehicular hijacking with a firearm. His bail information was not immediately available.
Gibson (left) and Nance are accused of trying to carjack a Chicago hotel guest's Audi A5.
If you wonder where this all leads, consider Johannesburg. I have spent considerable time with executives based there and have heard astounding stories of the level of chaos and violence that bedevil motorists (among others).
Consider this product, developed for South African drivers worried about the "everyday" hazard of armed carjacking:
And consider that the Carlton Hotel in downtown Johannesburg, a world-famous luxury hostelry rebuilt as a 30-story tower in 1972, had to close in 1998, as civil order (previously maintained brutally by the Apartheid regime) collapsed, and downtown Johannesburg became too dangerous for people of pallor and money. Businesses and affluent residents have relocated to the suburbs, where walls exist to help maintain civil order inside them.
Hat tip: Peter von Buol