Tougher penalties for NJ carjackers

January 10, 2011 3:31:00 PM PST
Newark saw a stunning 70% increase in carjackings last year.

Now prosecutors say groups of young people are behind the frightening attacks, and say they are allegedly doing it for sport.

Newark is stepping it up.

"This is unacceptable," Newark Mayor Cory Booker said.

In the face of 70 carjackings in December, a record, the Newark mayor, Police Director and Essex Co Prosecutor announced accused carjackers who are teenagers will be tried as adults, even 15 year olds.

That means 0if convicted, they would serve time isolated in the Midwest, not close to family and friends in New Jersey.

"Bad guys know what Fed time means," Newark Police Director Garry McCarthy said.

The mayor is angry, so is the police director.

They are also astounded carjackers didn't even take time off during the blizzard.

One snow plow truck was carjacked and the driver had hundreds of dollars in cash taken off of him.

Most of the cars taken at gunpoint have been expensive luxury vehicles that are so high tech you need a key, and therefore, a driver present, to steal it.

"You will be found and captured," Mayor Booker said.

The hope is that a real threat of Federal charges and adult charges will turn this crime trend around.

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