By Kristine Frazao

On city streets across America, there's a similar scene playing out on repeat, including in the nation’s capitol, where a city council candidate was a recent victim.

"When I saw four masked men pulling up quickly, I mean the gun was out in my face, so I just, I had my keys in my hand and just threw them up," said Nate Fleming, a candidate for Washington D.C. City Council, recounting when he was carjacked at a gas station.

On Thursday, Rushern Baker, a candidate for governor in Maryland, made this declaration in Baltimore:

“Today we’re calling on the governor to declare a state of emergency in Baltimore City.”

The rate of carjacking there is up 58% over the last year, though the numbers are much higher in other cities: 286% in New York City, 238% in Philadelphia and 207% in Chicago.

It's a disturbing trend Dallas Police Chief Edgardo Garcia told lawmakers this week that’s made even more difficult because of who is often committing the crimes – juveniles.

Dealing with violent crime for the most part falls at the feet of state and local government, but lawmakers in Washington say they may now need to step in or at least enlist more resources from the federal government.

"This is not just a state and local issue; this is an organized crime issue .. This is an issue that goes beyond one little local jurisdiction and one neighborhood cop," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

The committee has now asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to create a national database on carjackings.

Some other senators say direct action is needed and blame progressive policies in some cities on the steep rise.

"Progressive prosecutors at the state levers have told criminals but they won’t get in trouble with certain crimes well that won’t fly with the federal government," said Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

Several large cities have changed the laws they say unfairly keep people of color locked up.

But critics say those changes have yielded mostly negative results, with many of the same people not getting charged for lesser crimes, then going on to commit more violent crime because they don’t feel the consequences.

"A lot of them believe we should not prosecute misdemeanor crimes like shoplifting they have the best intentions but they often have the worst results for the same people that they’re trying to help," said Parker Thayer, an investigative researcher with the conservative-leaning Capital Research Center.

There are some new ideas now coming forth on how to proceed.

"Just as federal prosecutors and federal agents made bank robberies a priority, they should do the same thing for carjackings. It’s affecting commerce and public safety nationwide," said Thiru Vignarajah, former Maryland Deputy District Attorney in an interview Thursday.