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The etymology of the phrase “carjacking” traces back to 1992, when The Detroit News reporter Scott Bowles and editor E. J. Mitchell used the conjoining of car and hijacking to describe a series of crimes that involved the armed robbery and driving away of motor vehicles in the Detroit area. One case that garnered national attention and made carjacking a household word was the robbery-homicide of Pamela Basu. Ms. Basu’s vehicle was taken by two offenders as she dropped her daughter off at preschool. Ms. Basu became entangled in the seat belt of the vehicle as the perpetrators drove away, resulting in her being dragged for more than a mile and her subsequent death in front of eyewitnesses. The national attention that this case received ...

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