Illinois Senate bill aims to increase use of car tracking data to address Chicago carjacking numbers

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) — Both state and local officials hope a bill introduced to the Illinois legislature can help curb the problem of carjackings.

Cook County elected officials have said this is something they’ve been working on for months now, and it all comes down to the technology law enforcement officials have access to.

The bill introduced would allow more collaboration between police and car manufacturers, and officials say there’s no time to waste on this.

Carjackings have been a prevalent problem across the Chicagoland area for the last two years.

RELATED: Chicago holds 2 town hall halls about community safety amid drop in shootings, more carjackings

“Last year we had 2,100 carjackings in Cook County, majority of them in Chicago. Los Angeles and New York combined had less than 1,000. We unfortunately lead the country in this,” Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said during a press conference Wednesday in Springfield.

According to Chicago police data, there have been 519 carjackings so far this year. That’s up 4% from the same time last year.

A solution to the problem may come from Senate bill 4205.

“It’s important we have technology so law enforcement officials can track the carjackers that steal cars and go from point A to point B,” said state Sen. Mike Hastings, D-Frankfort.

The bill, which Hastings introduced, would create a 24/7 hotline for law enforcement to reach car manufacturers.

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All car companies would be included.

With that collaboration, police would be able to track down just about any vehicle.

“There’s no two issues that have been more talked about, more disturbing to anyone, than the shootings and the carjackings,” Dart said. “Virtually every car since 2015 has tracking capability, so, the question is, if it can be tracked, why is it not being tracked?”

Often, the stolen cars are used in other crimes, making it even more important to track down those vehicles right away.

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“If we can track that right away, that other crime never occurred,” Dart said.

The legislation would also increase police presence around the surrounding suburbs of Chicago with the help of additional state grants.

The bill is set to be discussed in the Senate Executive Committee.

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April 6, 2022 at 12:48PM

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