Newspaper delivery driver carjacked three times will no longer exit vehicle in this blue city
After he was carjacked for a third time, a Baltimore newspaper delivery driver’s employer notified customers that its drivers would no longer exit their vehicles.
The notice said employees will instead throw newspapers onto customers’ front steps or porches and won’t begin delivers until later, when the sun is rising, WMAR reported.
“I bent down to get the paper, and I heard the footsteps from the street. I turned around, the gun was in my face,” a different delivery driver, Reginald Scott, told Baltimore’s WMAR. “This is a dark neighborhood, so for me and the other gentleman that was being carjacked in that neighborhood, it’s because of the lighting down there.”
“It’s not just us being carjacked in that area,” he continued. “They getting robbed down there, people are breaking in their cars down there.”
Scott believes delivery drivers are increasingly being targeted.
“That’s how they are getting us; they are watching our actions, watching what we’re doing, and jumping out on us,” he said.
Carjackings in Baltimore are down 24% year-to-date, according to police data. But they spiked over the last few weeks, more than doubling compared to the same period last year.
“I mean, it is scary,” Baltimore resident Eric Hontz, who gets his paper delivered each morning, said. “We all feel for the delivery folks.”
“To happen that early in the morning, that means there is people cruising around just looking for potential victims to take advantage of, and while this neighborhood is steadily improving, while the statistics say crime is down, it still shows that there is a long way to go in Baltimore,” he said.
Despite a decrease in carjackings, auto thefts more than tripled from Jan. 1 to Sept. 16, according to police data. Thieves have stolen or attempted to steal more than 7,700 vehicles in Baltimore this year, averaging out to nearly 29 a day, or more than one per hour.
The Baltimore Police Department “has handed out more than 3,000 wheel locks to city residents and have made more than 365 arrests for auto theft related offenses,” Director of Public Affairs and Community Outreach Lindsey Eldridge told Fox News. “BPD has recovered 4,245 vehicles that were taken in auto thefts.”
Still, Scott said he does not believe the carjackings will stop and that delivery drivers should be cautious.
“Be very careful, and always keep your head on a swivel,” he said. “We’re all being attacked.”
Police patrols are not stopping the carjackings from happening, Scott added.
“There are people who are just trying to make a living and shouldn’t have to deal with the violence that is endemic to the city,” Hontz said. “It’s just become normalized.”