IL Secretary of State awards $21.5M to regional organizations to combat carjackings, vehicle thefts

Carjackings(Source: Pexels via MGN)
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 12:28 PM CDT
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PEORIA (25News Now) - The Greater Peoria Auto Crimes Task Force is one of a handful of police organizations receiving money in an effort to combat carjackings and car thefts in the state.

The funding comes from the Illinois Vehicle Hijacking and Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention and Insurance Verification Council, overseen by Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias and his office.

The GPACT is receiving $2,150,700 and is one of six receiving a total of over $21.5 million, according to a release.

All the organizations can request full or partial grant renewals over the next three years.

“There is no single solution, but these grants give law enforcement needed financial resources, which will provide a greater sense of focus and effort to recover stolen vehicles and prevent carjackings that have been occurring all too frequently throughout our state,” Giannoulias said. “People doing something so routine as getting in their car and driving shouldn’t have to fear that they’ll be robbed of their vehicle at gunpoint. Working together, we will continue to not only make our roads safer but also our communities, neighborhoods and business districts.”

“ISP’s expressway safety enforcement effort brings together the full force of patrol, investigations, license plate readers, air operations, and other assets,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “These grant funds will energize and sustain those efforts to pursue violent offenders and keep reducing violence.”

In 2022, there were 1,655 reported carjackings in Chicago, more than triple the amount in 2012, according to city figures. Meanwhile, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reports that Chicago saw auto thefts rise 55% in 2022, an increase greater than every other city in the nation. In 2021, the NICB reported there were 13,856 auto thefts in the city, which increased to 21,516 auto thefts in 2022. Statewide, vehicle thefts rose from 28,557 in 2021 to 40,505 in 2022, according to NICB’s most recent data.