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23rd carjacking in Newark in 1 week

December 24, 2010 8:30:54 PM PST
It's happened again in Newark, another carjacking this time with two children in the car.

Since last Friday, Newark has had 23 carjackings.

This time the carjacker only made it two blocks. Newark Police say someone jumped into the Lincoln sedan at East Orange and 10th and then drove two blocks before discovering two children in the back seat. That's when they pulled over and fled leaving the children safe.

With so many carjackings, Newark Mayor Cory Booker hopes a new task force will stop them.

"My belief is, and I think the police director will echo this, this is a small group of people who are trying to do a lot of these robberies and carjackings. If we can get the two or three teams responsible under arrest and behind bars we will stop this crime trend," Booker said.

The carjackings aren't just hitting Newark. Essex County reports the crime's jumped 33% this year.

Neighbors blame police layoffs and the economy.

The Police Union also blames layoffs for the jump in carjackings and murder.

Police Chief Gary McCarthy said that despite 167 layoffs, he didn't pull any beat cops from the streets.

He and Mayor Booker insists they haven't compromised safety.

"Understand this. We will not let our city go back to where we were in 2006 and before. We must not only meet this current crime trend but put everything necessary in place on the streets in the community to drive back. This weekend we are at full force. [We have a] significant amount of people that will be out there on the streets," Booker said.

Police say the mother and children involved in Friday night's carjacking are safe.

No word whether police caught the person who took the car.

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