Police say they’ve seen an alarming number of carjackings in Bakersfield in the last two months.
Bakersfield police said the average number of carjacking cases per month is 2 to 4 and they say we’re on track to surpass last year’s total.
Last month, a man was sitting in his car on the 700 block of Jefferson Street when an armed suspect opened the door to the vehicle and ordered the victim to get out at gunpoint.
The suspect then fled in the victim’s vehicle. The vehicle was later recovered.
“We’ve seen a rise in carjackings recently,” said Marcela Haskins, sergeant in Homicide and Robbery Division with BPD.
The department says, they have registered 18 carjackings in the last two months. However, they say there is an important point to take into consideration:
“When we think of carjackings not all of the ones that we’ve seen recently are your traditional carjackings when a person is sitting in their vehicle and it’s committed by a stranger that comes out of nowhere,” said Haskins.
Not all crimes that have fallen under the carjacking classification are what you would expect.
According to officials, some of the carjackings they are currently investigating involve domestic violence issues and lifestyle choices. Still, police urge the community to stay alert.
“Citizens should be aware of their surroundings whenever they’re walking to their vehicles,” said Haskins.
She says that while this type of crime is rare, it’s not impossible.
Carjacking yearly totals dating back to 2004 put 2017 as the highest year for carjackings with a total of 55 in the city.
This year, we are currently at 44 and counting.
“Attempt to park in areas that are well lit or well traveled by other persons,” recommends Haskins.
BPD says most of these offenses happen in the east side of town, the crimes have been reported in different parts of the city.
The investigation for the man involved in the July carjacking is ongoing.
If anyone has any information regarding the investigation or the identity of the suspect contact BPD at 661-327-7111.