Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart testifies on 'alarming' rise in carjackings at US Senate hearing

WASHINGTON (WLS) -- Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart testified in front of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee for a hearing on carjackings in Chicago and across the U.S.

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin is leading the hearing, featuring testimony from Sheriff Dart, National Insurance Crime Bureau President David Glawe, who is based in Des Plaines, and Vaughn Bryant who is the director of Chicago's Metropolitan Family Services.

They discussed looking into federal support for preventing and responding to the surge in carjackings.

Cook County Sheriff's Office pushes for 24/7 carjacking hotline to help track stolen vehicles

"In our community, carjackings have increased at an alarming rate," Sheriff Dart said. "In Chicago they tripled over the last decade. Just last year, there were more than 2,000 carjackings, or about one every four hours.

Senator Durbin has written to both the FBI and DOJ calling for better data collection that can help form enforcement strategies.

Sheriff Dart has pushed auto manufacturers to provide a 24/7 number for police and carjacking victims to call immediately to better track the location of their car and increase police access.

Dart said time is of essence with these sort of crimes and the key to solving them is recovering the cars quickly.

"Anyone in your car is a potential victim: you, your spouse, your children your parents and yes, even lawmakers...crime can happen at any time," Dart said.

So far this year, Chicago police said there have been 306 vehicular carjackings and they have made 238 motor-vehicle arrests.
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