Woman had to jump from vehicle to escape violent carjacker: Winnipeg police
Carjacking statistics show significant increase in recent years
A woman had to jump out of her moving car on Saturday to escape a violent carjacker, Winnipeg police say.
On Saturday around 5 p.m., the woman in her 20s was parked in the lot at Grant Park Shopping Centre when a man entered her vehicle and assaulted her, police said Monday in a news release.
Witnesses called police after seeing the woman jump from the moving vehicle around Grant Avenue and Wilton Street. She was taken to hospital in stable condition.
Officers found the stolen vehicle nearby, on Carter Avenue between Wilton Street and Guelph Street.
The carjacker is described as a man, 23 to 35 years old, approximately six feet tall with a medium, stocky build and a shaved head.
Anyone with information can call police at 204-986-6219 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-8477 (TIPS).
The victim posted about the incident on social media and said she fought her attacker off and escaped out the passenger side window.
At a news conference Monday afternoon, Winnipeg Police Service Const. Jay Murray said the woman's post is a reminder of the impact of violent crime.
"If you read what she wrote, you really feel for her. And it's a reminder that there are true victims out there, victims that are probably going to be impacted by these types of incidents for some time," Murray said.
In a related development, Winnipeg police have released statistics on carjackings in the city over the last 10 years, including the first four months of 2022.
They show a significant increase in the crime, particularly since 2018. In 2013, 19 carjackings were reported, compared with 125 in 2021. Between January and April of this year, there were 59.
"I think as we come out of the pandemic, we're looking to see what the new normal is. Unfortunately this number continues to grow. If the first four months of this year are any indication, it'll probably be another high number for us," Murray said.
He said it's hard to understand exactly why carjackings are on the rise, but suggested it's possibly connected to drug use.
"In 2018-2019, we really saw the use of methamphetamine explode in the city. That, in turn, correlated with the rise in property crime across the board," Murray said.