Phillip Harper, 25, of Detroit got a 92-year prison sentence in October for ambushing luxury car owners at gunpoint in a months-long carjacking spree, reports the Detroit Free Press. Crime-ridden Detroit is a carjack hot spot where violent armed car thieves strike day and night in every corner of the city. Law enforcement agencies have struggled for years to get carjacking under control, calling it a pervasive problem that has struck fear in the heart of the community, and among people who visit the city or consider moving there.
Carjackings occur at an alarming rate in Detroit. Six years ago, the city had 1,231 carjackings, more than three a day. By last year, that number had dropped significantly to 701, but that was still the highest known number of carjackings for any major U.S. city in the country. Through Nov. 17 this year, Detroit has seen 485 carjackings, more than one a day. That’s down 31 percent from last year, yet still three times more than the 160-some carjackings New York City, with 10 times Detroit’s population, saw all of last year. If there is good news, it’s that the number of carjackings has dropped by almost half in five years due in large part to a coordinated effort by police, the FBI and federal prosecutors.