The thieves attempted to break into an unmarked Secret Service vehicle in Washington, DC’s Georgetown neighborhood
A Secret Service agent protecting Naomi Biden, the granddaughter of US President Joe Biden, opened fire on three would-be carjackers after they were spotted breaking into a parked Secret Service vehicle in Washington, DC on Sunday, the Associated Press reported on Monday, citing law enforcement sources.
Biden was out with her Secret Service detail in the Georgetown neighborhood when they reportedly saw the aspiring thieves breaking a window of the unmarked agency SUV, which was unoccupied at the time. One of the agents shot at the carjackers but did not hit anyone, the Secret Service said in a statement on Monday.
The trio fled the scene in a red car. The Secret Service said it put out a regional bulletin with the vehicle’s details to Metropolitan Police.
Carjackings have become commonplace in Washington, with over 750 reported so far this year – more than double last year’s numbers. More than 6,000 vehicles have been reported stolen in the same period.
Government VIPs are not immune to the phenomenon. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) was carjacked last month near the Capitol by three armed attackers. While the police recovered his car, finding it abandoned shortly after the theft, the thieves were not apprehended.
Washington, DC has seen a 38% surge in violent crime this year, led by an increase in murders and carjackings.
In February, Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minnesota) was assaulted in the elevator of her Washington apartment building. The 26-year-old man who pleaded guilty to the attack had a lengthy criminal record, including a conviction for assaulting a police officer.
While the DC Council, the municipal body that governs the US capital, passed a sweeping overhaul of its criminal code last year that significantly lowered the maximum penalties for violent offenses, including carjacking and robbery, that overhaul was quickly blamed for the crime wave that had already begun overtaking the district and was overturned less than a month after Craig was assaulted.