LAKE COUNTY, Ind.— Last year Chicago saw more than 1,900 carjacking’s, the highest number in two decades, and the most of any large city in America. But the problem doesn’t stop at the city’s borders.
Police say criminals often cross state borders, especially into Northwest Indiana, thinking they won’t be pursued.
“I’d say 90% of our pursuits in Lake County, Indiana go to Chicago,” said Detective Nicholas Kopack, a member of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department’s High Crime Unit. “They try to get back. They think we’re not going to chase them over there.”
A beefed-up task force now with Northwest Indiana departments is designed to be a deterrent.
Lake County, Indiana Sheriff Oscar Martinez said the region has seen an uptick in carjackings, with spillover from Chicago. His department – and 18 other Northwest Indiana law enforcement agencies — recently joined the Chicago Police Vehicular Hijacking Task Force.
“Once critical part of success was when we started to partner up with the city of Chicago and CPD and the ISP, that made a huge difference,” Martinez said. “We will chase you. We will catch you and we will arrest you. Regardless of whether you cross the state line, we will go after you.”