Western Washington Carjacking Task Force part of federal effort to combat violent crime

Friday, April 19, 2024

Police search for a gun used by a carjacker who fled
Photo by Bruce Miller January 6, 2024

Seattle – U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman announced today that the Western District of Washington is one of seven districts that are adding a carjacking task force to focus efforts and resources on this important public safety threat.

“Our task force harnesses the resources of the FBI, ATF, the Seattle Police and Kent Police Departments. Prosecutors will look at all carjacking incidents in the district to see if federal prosecution is appropriate,” said U.S. Attorney Gorman. “Where adults are using juveniles to commit these crimes, we will explore significant federal penalties to hold the adults accountable.”

“The Justice Department has no higher priority than keeping our communities safe. We do so by targeting the most significant drivers of violent crime and by acting as a force multiplier for our state and local law enforcement partners. We’re seeing results — with violent crime declining broadly nationwide,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. 

“Today, we are launching seven new carjacking task forces across the country to build on the success of task forces in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Tampa, where available data shows that carjacking rates are now falling.”

In keeping with the department’s Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Violent Crime, the task forces represent a strategic enforcement priority for the department, focusing federal resources on identifying, investigating, and prosecuting the most significant drivers of violent crime.

Building on the initial efforts of and best practices learned from carjacking task forces in the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the District of Columbia, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and the Middle District of Florida, the following offices in seven other districts are announcing the creation of carjacking task forces in their communities:

  • District of Oregon
  • Eastern District of Texas
  • Northern District of Alabama
  • Northern District of California
  • Eastern District of Louisiana
  • Southern District of Mississippi
  • Western District of Washington

Carjacking and other violent crime task forces have proven to be an effective part of successful violent crime reduction strategies by focusing on significant crime drivers and taking violent offenders off the streets of our communities. 

For example, carjackings in Philadelphia declined by 31 percent from 2022 to 2023, and armed carjackings are down 28 percent in the District of Columbia this year to date compared to the same period in 2023. In Chicago, carjackings decreased 29 percent from the high in 2021 through the end of 2023.

The newly formed task forces will be led by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices, FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, along with state, local and other law enforcement partners.


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