Washington, D.C., Mayor Anthony Williams last night declared that juvenile car thieves have created a crisis. The Washington Post said he pledged to add law enforcement resources and increase social services for the troubled families and neighborhoods in which many of the offenders grow up. “All of us agree that we have to put an end to this, an end to this madness,” Williams said.
Earlier yesterday, teenagers in a stolen car slammed into a house while trying to elude police, terrifying a homeowner who was awakened by the crash. No one was seriously injured, but it was a frightening reminder of the accidents blamed on teenage car thieves that have left four people dead in the last month. “These aren’t just kids out for a joy ride,” Williams said. “These are acts of reckless, senseless violence. These are crimes.” Under pressure from neighborhood residents — including about 400 who turned out for a meeting last night — Williams was determined to sound the stern tone that frustrated residents long to hear. Whether the rhetoric of city leaders will lead to results appears as uncertain as it was a year ago after two people were killed by juvenile car thieves.