Giannoulias Awards $21 Million to Combat Carjackings & Vehicle Thefts

Law enforcement to receive grants in six regions across Illinois
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In an effort to combat the surge of carjackings and motor vehicle thefts in Illinois, Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias is awarding grants totaling more than $21 million to six police organizations.

The funding originates from the Illinois Vehicle Hijacking and Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention and Insurance Verification Council, which is overseen by Secretary Giannoulias’ office. The Secretary of State’s office convenes regular meetings of council members and awards funding to assist law enforcement entities – including the Secretary of State Police – to combat carjackings and prevent motor vehicle thefts.

“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.”

“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.”

“Partnership is essential as we work to prevent and investigate vehicular hijackings and motor vehicle thefts,” said Interim CPD Superintendent Eric M. Carter. “This grant funding will help us bolster these efforts and create a safer Chicago.”

“The Illinois Statewide Auto Theft Taskforce (ISATT) will use this money to expand our investigations into crimes related to vehicular hijacking, auto theft, insurance fraud, rogue tow operators and recyclable metal left,” said Secretary of State Police Lieutenant Adam Broshous, Director of ISATT. Lieutenant Broshous noted that nine of the 22 sworn officers that make up ISATT are part of the Illinois Secretary of State Police.

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.

Over the course of the next several weeks, Giannoulias will provide the police organizations the below grants. These initial funds are earmarked for use in the upcoming year, and organizations can request full or partial grant renewals over the next three years to continue efforts to prevent carjackings and motor vehicle thefts:

The Secretary of State’s office collects an annual $1 assessment on automobile insurance policies from the insurance industry to fund grant awards. In addition, the Illinois General Assembly appropriated an additional infusion of $30 million last year to combat statewide carjacking and motor vehicle theft.

The council is made up of 11 members who discuss strategies to prevent carjackings, motor vehicle theft and recyclable metal theft. This council fell under the jurisdiction of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority from 1991-2017. Since 2018, the council’s work has led to 4,726 recovered vehicles valued at $92 million.


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