MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Carjackings are rising at an alarming rate, according to officials, and federal authorities are stepping in to help.
Authorities said carjackings have increased by 87 percent since last August.
Memphis law enforcement agencies are joining forces to track down the most violent criminals.
Authorities said these suspects appear to have no fear, which means the public needs to be alert.
Tuesday, the United States Attorney’s Office announced indictments for five men on carjacking and armed robbery charges.
Police said the suspects all committed violent carjackings using firearms within the past year.
Jherrick Grimes, 25; Lorenzo Davis, 29; Angelo Bunting, 20; DeQuan Blackmon, 19; and Harry French, 20, were all indicted for crimes that occurred in Memphis.
“While recent reports indicate that violent crime rates in all major categories are declining, carjacking offenses in Memphis have spiked and increased an alarming 87 percent in the past year," U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said. "This trend cannot continue, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office is coordinating with our federal and local law enforcement partners to prioritize and target carjacking cases for aggressive federal prosecution. These cases demonstrate our resolve to incapacitate the most violent offenders, uphold the rule of law, deter criminal conduct with a strong message of significant consequences, and make us all safer.”
Investigators said Grimes committed a carjacking in August 2018 when he stolen someone's 2004 Audi.
Davis is accused of robbing a bank on July 26 before carjacking someone's 2001 Toyota the day after.
Bunting is charged with carjacking someone's 2014 Toyota on June 28 before committing the same act with a 2011 Chevrolet Impala on July 6. A week later, investigators said Bunting stole a 2013 Volkswagen.
Investigators said French and Blackmon stole a 2015 Dodge on August 4, as well as a 1991 Jeep and 2013 Chevrolet Suburban on August 23.
Authorities said they will seek aggressive prosecution in the case.
“If something doesn’t feel right, keep going," deputy Michael Shearin said. "When you see something, say something. Call the police. If you see suspicious people standing around a gas station or an ATM.”