SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Carjackings are one of the biggest crime problems impacting not just Chicago, but the state and country.
Democrats in this election year are using the spring session in Springfield to show they are serious about ending the surge of carjackings.
“No matter where you live, where you come from or what you look like, no matter your economic status in the world, carjackers just don’t discriminate against that,” said Illinois Sen. Michael Hastings.
This is something Sen. Kimberly Lightford found out last December when she and her husband were carjacked in Broadview. Lightford’s husband exchanged gunfire with the suspects. No one was hurt, but they were scared.
“I pled to them not to shoot me and my husband. I was terrified and I believe that I stopped breathing,” said Lightford.
No arrests have been made in that incident.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart will be in Springfield Wednesday as lawmakers unveil a bill he’s been pushing that would force car manufacturers to use technology to help law enforcement investigate carjackings 24/7.
Add that on to several bills introduced Tuesday on carjackings, one would ensure car owners won’t face fines if they are carjacked.
In Chicago, carjackings soared to a two-decade high.
The Chicago Police Department reports more than 1800 carjackings last year. So far this year, there have been at least a little more than 450.
Republicans are slamming the Democrats ideas. In a statement, Sen. John Curran said, “The recent proposals introduced do very little to move the needle on this very serious issue. They simply just add bureaucracy and taxpayer dollars to this epidemic and do nothing to actually hold offenders accountable for their actions.”
Some Republicans favor an aggressive crackdown on carjackings and other violent offenses, including a 10-year mandatory to life in prison mandatory sentences.
Dart will join lawmakers at 9 a.m. Wednesday.