Have you heard about the skyrocketing number of auto thefts in Baltimore City AND Baltimore County?
I joined six other prominent Republican legislators in sending a letter to Mayor Scott and Commissioner Harrison of Baltimore City after they announced they were suing Hyundai and Kia in an effort to fight auto theft.
Baltimore City needs to do MORE than join a lawsuit against car manufacturers.
According to crime statistics, Baltimore is one of the most dangerous cities in the country. We suggest a plan focusing on the root cause of crime rather than blaming car manufacturers.
Shortly after we sent our letter, Hynudai/Kia reached a $200 million settlement that gives car owners some help in protecting their cars against thieves.
After sending that letter, we were horrified to read that there’s a 542% increase in juvenile car thefts in Baltimore County so far this year. County police said social media touting the catch-and-release approach in the juvenile justice system is driving the increase.
Police have said that youths prefer to steal a car over carjacking one because there is little to no consequence. Some of the thieves are as young as 12 years old, and authorities said the reason is not just for joyriding but to commit more serious crimes.
Police said the juvenile offenders are being released faster than officers can complete the crime paperwork.
In 2022, the liberal leadership in Annapolis passed a law that protects juvenile criminals 12 and under from ANY consequence at all! It’s no wonder that 12-year-olds are now drug mules, gun toters for gangs, car thieves, and criminals. And the penalties for older juveniles are meaningless.
We introduced legislation to protect victims of crime and hold juveniles accountable, but it fell on deaf ears.
We have a serious juvenile crime crisis in Maryland. We urge you to keep your cars locked up and activate any anti-theft devices or technology you have. It won’t get any better until kids know that crime does not pay.
We go back to Annapolis in January, and we will keep asking those with the power to affect change – How many more victims of crime must suffer before criminals will be held responsible for their actions and know they must stop committing crime or they will do the time?