The FBI is warning local law enforcement agencies to prepare for potential increases in crime over the next few months as the summer season kicks off and more people continue to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Crimes rates in many cities have increased since the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, with many agencies seeing upticks in gun violence and crimes committed by teenagers.
“The FBI is warning local and other federal law enforcement to be on the lookout for potential increases in violence heading into the warmer months,” a senior law enforcement official told Fox News. “As more people are free to move about and socialize, crime of all different levels may certainly increase.”
In a statement to Fox News, the FBI said it doesn’t comment on specific intelligence reports but that the agency routinely shares information with law enforement partners.
“The FBI shares information about potential threats to enhance the ability of law enforcement agencies to better protect the communities they serve,” the FBI said. “As always, we urge the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the nearest law enforcement agency.”
In Chicago and Washington D.C., authorities are seeing more violent crimes and carjackings involving juveniles. One of the more brazen crimes involves two girls — ages 13 and 15 — who are charged with the death of an Uber Eats driver who was killed during an attempted carjacking. They are expected to receive a plea bargain.
Last month, while at the scene of a shooting that left two people dead and three others wounded, Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee said: “We have a gun violence problem in the community.”
On Tuesday, authorities in Chicago said a 16-year-old had been arrested in connection with using a knife during an attempted carjacking.
“You know, idle minds are the devil’s playground. And a lot of these kids, they’ve been idle for a year-and-a-half now without going to school. And that’s been a big problem,” Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo told Fox News earlier this month.
Acevedo also serves as president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association and was previously chief of the Houston Police Department.
In New York City, crime statistics show the city reported 106 murders from Jan. 1 through Sunday, compared to 100 in the same time period last year. Shootings are also up 64%, according to New York Police Department figures.
In March, the city saw a 9% jump in killings and 492 gun-related arrests.
Los Angeles has seen 97 murders as of April 10, a nearly 30% jump from last year. Other violent crimes were down with the exception of aggravated assault, according to Los Angeles Police Department numbers.
The FBI warning comes as half of adults in the United States — 130 million people — had already received at least one COVID-19 vaccination dose. Crime steadily increased across the country last year in the first few months of lockdowns that coincided with the emergence of mass protests and social unrest over police brutality.
Fox News’ Stephanie Pagones contributed to this report