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Mayor Johnson, Chicago police discuss new strategy to stop robberies

Mayor, CPD announce new plan to prevent robberies
Mayor, CPD announce new plan to prevent robberies 00:54

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Mayor Brandon Johnson and Police Supt. Larry Snelling on Friday announced new "four-pillar plan" to prevent persistent robberies and car thefts across the city.

"Everyone in every neighborhood deserves to feel safe walking down the street, commuting to work and enjoying life in our wonderful city," Johnson said.

Police said the plan would use technology, focused missions, public engagement, and accountability as part of a more focused approach to stopping and solving robberies, carjackings, and car thefts.

"We want to be proactive and not just reactive when these crimes occur," Snelling said.

The strategy includes the use of license plate readers and pod cameras to help identify the criminals responsible for robberies, carjackings, and car thefts – including releasing video evidence when issuing community alerts in hopes someone will come forward with information to help identify the suspects.

The department also plans weekly meetings with patrol units and detectives to help deploy resources to areas where there have been spikes in robberies and thefts.

So far this year, the department's carjacking task force has conducted 10 operations, leading to more than 80 arrests, and more than 140 recovered vehicles – in part through the use of license plate readers and CPD helicopters.

"I cannot stress enough the great work our detectives and officers are doing across the department, and putting into these investigations and incidents collaboratively with one another and our community safety partners," CPD Chief of Detectives Antoinette Ursitti said.

Police also will partner with Hyundai and Kia to host vehicle safety days at Guaranteed Rate Field during the first week of May to provide software updates to vehicle owners to help prevent vehicle thefts. Kia and Hyundai vehicles have seen a surge in thefts in recent years, in part due to a social media craze exposing a vulnerability that made them easier to steal.

The announcement of the new strategy came after a string of robberies Friday morning in Lincoln Park.

Police said three men were robbed while walking outside, when a group of men wearing masks and hoodies got out of a black sedan and demanded their belongings. All three robberies happened in a span of 15 minutes within less than a mile of each other.

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