KING COUNTY, Wash. — Reports of carjacking’s increased between 2020 and 2021 and officials with the King County Sheriff’s Office say they’re working to make sure the trend doesn’t continue this year.
Still, the sheriff's office says it responded to five carjacking’s in the first three weeks of 2022.
From a King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter, a terrifying encounter was caught between a driver and a man being chased by police.
"Next thing I know there's cops pulling out from the front and the rear blocking the guy in and the cop was yelling, 'let her go, let her go," said Mike Hayertz, a driver who witnesses the carjacking in progress.
Two men were arrested in mid-January after leading law enforcement on a chase from Bellevue to Issaquah. The chase ended when the vehicle they were driving came to a stop in flood water.
“We’ve seen a nationwide an uptick in violent crime, certainly carjacking is definitely that. It’s not just a property crime, it’s taken by force. So, it’s alarming to us, it’s alarming to our communities,” said Sgt. Tim Meyer of the King County Sheriff’s Office.
KCSO records show instances like this going up from year to year. The department reported 44 carjacking cases in 2021 and that’s up from 35 in 2020.
“There is no carjacking charge in state law, but it is certainly a priority in the prosecutor’s office, and we charge those cases when they are referred to us,” said Casey McNerthney of the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.