Giannoulias Awards Over $21 Million to Combat Carjackings and Vehicle Thefts


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CHICAGO, Ill. – Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias is awarding over $21 million in grants to six police organizations to combat carjackings and motor vehicle thefts. The funding comes from the Illinois Vehicle Hijacking and Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention and Insurance Verification Council, which Giannoulias’ office oversees. 

The grant recipients include Expressway Safety Enforcement Group, Illinois Statewide Auto Theft Task Force, Metro East Auto Theft Task Force, Greater Peoria Auto Crimes Task Force, Tri-County Auto Theft Task Force, and Chicago Major Auto Theft Investigations. These grants will provide financial resources to assist law enforcement to recover stolen vehicles and prevent carjackings.

Giannoulias believes that there is no single solution to combat carjackings, but these grants will give local law enforcement along with Illinois State Police (ISP) needed resources to focus on recovering stolen vehicles and prevent carjackings from occurring frequently throughout the state. 

“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,” said Giannoulias. “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.”

According to 2022 annual reports from Secretary of State Jesse White’s Illinois Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention & Insurance Verification Council, the number of auto thefts increased from 28,557 in 2021 to 40,505 in 2022 statewide. The report also indicates that there were 1,655 reported carjackings in Chicago in 2022, which is more than triple the amount reported in 2012.

“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.”

The council comprises 11 members who develop strategies to prevent carjackings, motor vehicle theft, and recyclable metal theft. Since 2018, the council has led to the recovery of 4,726 vehicles valued at $92 million. These funds come from an annual $1 assessment on automobile insurance policies from the insurance industry and an additional infusion of $30 million that the Illinois General Assembly appropriated last year to combat statewide carjackings and motor vehicle theft.

The Tri-County Auto Theft Task Force, abbreviated as TCAT, will be granted $1.841 million in funding. The team consists of 12 law enforcement partners, including 2 officers from Joliet, 1 officer from Bradley, 1 officer from Kankakee, 3 deputies from Kankakee County, 1 deputy from Grundy County, 1 deputy from Will County, 1 officer from Manteno, 1 assistant state’s attorney from Will County, 1 assistant state’s attorney from Kankakee County, 1 part-time administrative director, 1 clerical staff member, and 1 NICB agent.

Will County reported a decrease in vehicle thefts in 2021, with 640 incidents recorded, marking a 9% decrease from the previous year. Meanwhile, Dupage County saw a decline from 713 to 613 vehicle thefts in the same period. Lake County, on the other hand, reported an increase in vehicle thefts, with 812 incidents in 2021, up from 786 in 2020.


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