New Laws in January Aimed at Addressing Spike in Carjackings, Vehicle Thefts in Illinois


As Illinois continues to deal with vehicle thefts and carjackings, there are new laws that take effect in January aimed at addressing the problem.  

California experienced the highest number of stolen vehicles overall in 2021, with more than 200,000 vehicles taken. The top five states for vehicular crime---California, Illinois, Florida, Colorado and Texas---accounted for 412,008 cars stolen. Those who speculated it was a “pandemic thing” may rethink that notion as the problem continues. 

More than 1,300 carjackings have occurred in the Chicago area this year. 

There was a huge spike in car thefts in Illinois this past summer with two models, Kia and Hyundai, the most at risk. According to police, videos on social media explaining how to steal the cars appear to be at the center of a 767% increase in vehicle thefts.

One new law expands the offense of possession of burglary tools to include possession of a device that unlocks or starts a vehicle without possession of the key fob, or which captures a duplicate signal from a key fob to unlock or start a vehicle. 

Another law that goes into effect provides grants and financial support to assist with the identification, apprehension and prosecution of car hijackers and the recovery of stolen vehicles.

Robert Passmore, department vice president with the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, said the surge in vehicle thefts may lead to higher insurance rates, including for comprehensive coverage.  

“The difference in cost might lead some people not to get it, but that's what you would need to protect yourself if you're concerned about your vehicle being stolen or having the catalytic converter stolen,” Passmore said.    

A third law ensures those who are victims of a carjacking are not liable for violations, fees or other penalties if the vehicle owner files a police report in a timely manner.

We thank The Center Square for reprint permission.

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