Carjackers have terrorized drivers in several cities across Cuyahoga County in recent months.
The extensive list includes Bedford, Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, East Cleveland, Euclid, Garfield Heights, Highland Heights, Lakewood, Maple Heights, Parma, Shaker Heights, South Euclid and University Heights, according to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.
“You talk to these victims after it happens and they are shaken,” said Eleina Thomas, head of the Crime Strategies Unit in the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.
The crime strategies unit is only two years old. It was formed to focus on violent crimes and repeat violent offenders and to coordinate cases that happen in multiple cities across the county and beyond that might be connected.
“The scope is so broad right now that law enforcement is still trying to figure out if they’re all related," said Thomas.
Lakewood police are one of dozens of agencies working with the prosecutor’s office to pump the brakes on these carjackings.
“It’s a countywide problem. Everyone is having the same issues, “ said Lakewood Police Lt. Kevin Kaucheck.