The Daily Telegraph

Carjacking foiled as Secret Service agents open fire

- By Tony Diver US Editor in Washington

SECRET SERVICE agents protecting Joe Biden’s granddaugh­ter opened fire after three people tried to break into an unmarked government vehicle in Washington DC on Sunday night.

The agents, who were protecting Naomi Biden, were out with her in the Georgetown neighbourh­ood when they saw the three people breaking a window of the parked Secret Service SUV, an official told the Associated Press.

One of the agents opened fire, but did not hit the suspected carjackers, the Secret Service said in a statement.

The three people were seen fleeing in a red car and the Secret Service said it put out a regional bulletin to Washington’s Metropolit­an Police to watch out for it in the local area.

The city has seen a significan­t rise in the number of carjacking­s and car thefts this year, with more than 750 carjacking­s and more than 6,000 reports of stolen vehicles in the district.

Henry Cuellar, a Texas congressma­n, was carjacked near the US Capitol building last month by three armed assailants wearing ski masks.

The majority of those arrested for carjacking­s in the capital are teenagers, and the steep increase in offences has prompted calls for greater control of Washington’s policing by Congress.

“Crime has become so bad in the nation’s capital that three carjackers broke into a Secret Service SUV assigned to Joe Biden’s granddaugh­ter last night,” said Andy Biggs, a Republican representa­tive from Arizona, on Monday. “Lawlessnes­s is rampant in Washington and requires better interventi­on,” he added.

Violent crime in Washington has also been on the rise this year, up more than 40 per cent compared with 2022. In February, Angie Craig, a representa­tive from Minnesota, was assaulted in her apartment building and suffered bruises.

Although crime rates surged in the nearby cities of Baltimore and Philadelph­ia during the pandemic, they have since seen a steady decline. Washington has seen its highest rate of homicide in 20 years this year.

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