New initiative allows Cook County Sheriff's Office to track vehicles if stolen | How to register

New initiative announced in effort to decrease Cook County carjackings, vehicle thefts

ByDiane Pathieu and Christian Piekos WLS logo
Thursday, October 20, 2022
New initiative allows Cook County Sheriff's Office to track vehicles if stolen
EMBED <>More Videos

The sheriff's office is trying to combat carjacking, and they've added a new way that could potentially track your car faster.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Cook County Sheriff's Office announced a new initiative Thursday in River North to reduce dangerous car thefts and carjackings in the area.

The sheriff's office is trying to combat carjacking, and they've added a new way that could potentially track your car faster.

With carjackings on the rise, the faster officers track your stolen vehicle the better.

RELATED: 'Just shoot him': Uptown man is pistol-whipped, shot at by would-be carjackers, CPD says

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart worked to create legislation requiring auto manufacturers provide officers with details about any tracking capabilities if a car is stolen, with the car owner's permission.

"It's difficult when you're constantly feeling as if you're a victim," the sheriff said.

Another component to make things easier was announced Thursday. You can give that permission online, on a new website that will have car owners digitally sign a tracking consent form, allowing your car's manufacturer to release that information to police faster.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart outlines a new initiative aimed at thwarting carjackers.

Sheriff Dart made it clear that registered cars are only going to be tracked through this new program if they are stolen.

Once you give your permission, you'll get sheriff's office stickers in the mail to place on your vehicle, as well.

Sheriff Dart is confident that these stickers will have would-be carjackers re-thinking their actions.

"You will then receive in the mail two different vehicle stickers from us, one for the front and one for the back of your car that you can place in your car that will be something that will deter people," Dart said. "We have talked to be people who we have taken in custody, and, trust me, they've been clear that they don't want to be dealing with cars that they know that we are tracking."

The new tracking method mainly applies to cars 2015 or newer.

"You cannot really think of a crime that could be more terrifying than someone coming up to you when you think you're in the security of your car and having a gun pulled on you," Sheriff Dart said.

New video of a bold carjacking in Humboldt Park shows the erratic driver flipping the stolen SUV while trying to get away.

WATCH | Carjacker flips SUV while trying to flee scene

Surveillance video shows a criminal carjacking a SUV in Humboldt Park, then crashing into two parked vehicles and flipping over while trying to flee the scene.

A nearby resident shared home surveillance camera footage from the area of North and Central Park avenues Wednesday.

It shows a car pulling up to a parked SUV. A driver had just gotten out.

RELATED: Chicago police helicopter helps track down carjackers after string of armed robberies

Two people get out of the car, and one appears to point a weapon at the driver, taking the key.

One of the carjackers gets into the SUV and tries to take off, crashing into the car in front of it, and the van behind it.

As the carjacker pulls out of the spot, he crashes again and flips the vehicle.

The thief then climbs out and runs away.

"With everything happening, it's very frustrating and scary," said Humboldt Park resident Reyna Arroyo.

Arroyo's boyfriend's work truck was struck and is now inoperable.

The couple said they are facing repair bills of up to $3,000 and will have to likely pay out-of-pocket.

"That's what we use to work. He works in construction and now we cannot go to work and we have to pay bills and everything else," Arroyo said. "We are low income families here and we do not have the commodity to work and have something fixed on our end."

Police said no one is in custody.

Chicago police also released a community alert about five stolen Hyundai and Kia vehicles in the Austin neighborhood, in just over a two-week period.

The five locations are within blocks of each other.

"It's been happening a lot in this area. The same thing happened to my car a few months ago," Arroyo said.

However, Sheriff Dart is confident this new program will deter some carjackings in the future.

"We want to give individuals the opportunity to take some ownership that they feel they're doing something," Sheriff Dart said.

People living outside of the Cook County can also register their cars to be tracked.

Sheriff Dart outlined this new website and its potential impact on decreasing carjackings across the county at 10 a.m.