Carjacking crackdown: Cook County Sheriff asks automakers for help tracking stolen vehicles

Crime

COOK COUNTY, Ill. —  The Cook County Sheriff’s Office is pushing for several ways to reduce carjackings.

New numbers show Chicago has more than 400 carjackings – up 43% – ahead of last year’s record-breaking pace. On Thursday, Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart called for a new strategy, with law enforcement focusing on the ability to quickly track stolen vehicles so police can make arrests.

“What we need is uniformity,” Dart said.

The Cook County sheriff adds that it’s an uphill battle for his investigators, describing the frustration for police when it comes to getting quick authorization to track a carjacked vehicle.   

“Some manufacturers, some dealers operate 9-to-5 weekdays, so we can’t even get a hold of them,” Dart said. “We know factually that when cars are being tracked, it makes it easier, not only to arrest people, but it deters people.”

In September, Dr. Stephanie Davis was carjacked at gunpoint near her home in Harvey. Davis says when her truck was stolen, the burden of tracking down her vehicle fell on her — and she still couldn’t get through.  

“Later that day, I tried again and again with the auto company and the dealership but I again, was told, the car could not be tracked,” Davis said.

Authorities said that claim is false. But Dart believes a better way is within reach. 

“We have things. We are working on that will be game-changers,” Dart said.

Dart says he is reaching out to car manufacturers asking to collaborate on solutions which patrol officers instantly access tracking data for a newly carjacked vehicle. But he says it’ll take a team effort to turn the tide.

“You can also get a copy of a consent order very straightforward which would allow us to get tracking data quicker,” Dart said.

The new consent form available online saves time for the police in case of a carjacking. Deputies also hope a tracked vehicle sticker available for free at courthouses and sheriff’s police stations can provide a measure of deterrence.     

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