CHICAGO — Car thefts and car jackings continue to trend in the wrong direction with its steady rise.

Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias awarded law enforcement in Illinois $21 million dollars to help turn that trend around.

Car thefts and carjackings continue to be a problem nationwide with its initial peak at the beginning of the pandemic.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, auto thefts across Illinois increased by nearly 12,000 from 2021 to 2022.

Earlier this month, using statistics collection by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the Chicago Tribune reported auto thefts in Chicago is up 55 percent in 2022 compared to the year before, making Chicago the top city of car thefts last year.

Six agencies will split the sum including the Chicago Police Department which will receive $1.5 million. The Illinois State Police are set to receive the largest amount, totaling $10.2 million, which Director Brendan Kelly stated will be used, in part, to purchase mobile plate readers and replace two airplanes.

In 2023, there have been 3,648 more auto thefts in Chicago compared to the same time last year, according to the Chicago Police Department. Since the start of the year, CPD reports 6,470 auto thefts have occurred.

When it comes to carjacking’s year to date, CPD said they are down about 29% compared to last year.

Chicago police have been making progress in slowing the number of thefts and carjackings by deploying carjacking teams but still continues to be a problem.

This past week, the state’s attorney general joined more than 20 additional state attorneys to ask Kia and Hyundai to quickly upgrade their operating systems to try and stop thieves from using a quick hack to steal cars.

Both companies said they are working on a software upgrade and hope to roll it out soon.