Illinois Secretary of State issues $11 million to prevent carjackings, car thefts

Karen Jordan Image
Wednesday, June 26, 2024
Illinois Secretary of State issues funds to prevent car thefts
Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias announced Wednesday $11 million will be issued to law enforcement to prevent carjackings and car thefts.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- More cash is being allocated to fight carjackings and car thefts in Illinois.

Law enforcement agencies across the state are getting more than $11 million in grant money toward putting the brakes the crimes, Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias announced Wednesday.

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Giannoulias and law enforcement officials explained how exactly the investment will be used to keep communities safe.

To prevent crime, you have to have resources.
Brendan Kelly, Illinois State Police

"No one should live in fear of having their car stolen at gun point or retuning to their vehicle only to find it gone," Giannoulias said.

The Secretary of State said the money will go to six police organizations that already target vehicle crimes and will supplement budgets for license plate readers, helicopters, tracking devices and other technology and personnel.

Illinois State Police will get more than $600,000 of the funds.

"To prevent crime, you have to have resources," said Brendan Kelly with Illinois State Police. "This grant will allow the ISP to focus additional resources on prevention and investigative follow up... for vehicular thefts, hijackings and other related violent crimes."

The funding for the grants comes partially from a $1 assessment on auto insurance policies that goes to a statewide council on motor vehicle theft and carjacking.

To underscore the issue, in 2022 there were 38,649 thefts statewide, which was an increase of more than 10,000 cases compared to 2021, Giannoulias said.

However, the numbers tell a hopeful story in Chicago. In 2024 so far, carjackings are down 16.7%.

SEE ALSO | 2023 police data shows carjackings decrease, unoccupied auto thefts increase

"The grant funding provided by the Secretary of State during the last fiscal year allowed us to build our resources to address the trends and patters related to auto theft," said Kevin Bruno with the Chicago Police Department.

The agencies receiving the grants can start using the funds next week.