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Urban Carjackers: A Fifteen Year Study of Carjackers Committed from New York City and Erie County, New York 1985-1999

NCJ Number
Robert L. Fisher; Linda Davis
Date Published
28 pages
This report presents findings from a study of 881 offenders committed to the New York State Department of Correctional Services after being convicted of forcibly stealing a motor vehicle as part of their commitment crime; the period covered is 1985-99.
All of the offenders were from New York City or Erie County (Buffalo, NY). By means of a content analysis, 881 carjackers were identified out of 18,651 robbery (first) and attempted robbery (first) new commitments. Information and data are provided on crime characteristics and offender characteristics. Regarding crime characteristics, 67 percent of the carjackers used a firearm, and 50 percent acted alone. Twenty-two percent of the carjackers injured their victims, and 99 percent of the carjackers were strangers to the persons victimized. Other property in addition to the vehicle was stolen by 43 percent of the carjackers. Regarding offender characteristics, 97 percent of the carjackers were male, and the mean age at the time of the offense was 25.3 years old. Fifty-three percent of the carjackers were African-American, 34 percent were Hispanic, and 11 percent were white. Forty-six percent of the carjackers had a prior jail or prison term. For 43 percent of the carjackers, the carjacking incident was their second felony. The concluding section of this report presents data on women carjackers compared to women robbers and women grand larcenists (auto). They are compared by age at the time of the crime, race/ethnicity, criminal history, and drug and alcohol use. 12 tables and 5 references