by Judd Mustin, The Chicago Times
December 10, 2021
CHICAGO — The Cook County Sheriff’s Office wants to use car tracking technology to reduce the rise in carjackings.
On Friday, Sheriff Tom Dart pushed for an agreement to use tracking devices on newer model vehicles to make it easier to find them when stolen.
Dart asked for more collaboration in addressing carjackings in a letter sent to major U.S. automakers, and suggested automakers create a free hotline that customers and law enforcement can call to request the location of a stolen vehicle.
“Automakers can play a long-term role in addressing the rise in this incredibly serious crime . . . We believe they will want to be a part of the solution, and we anticipate meaningful conversations and actions.” Dart said in a statement.
Dart also proposed a new agreement that would give police immediate access to tracking information if a car was reported stolen.
For now, car owners would grant law enforcement access to tracking information if their vehicle was stolen by signing a consent form created by the sheriff’s office. Dart claims that by doing so, law enforcement will be able to work more quickly with auto companies to locate the vehicle.
Drivers can also display a new awareness sticker on their vehicle, alerting would-be criminals that the vehicle is trackable.
Dart also stated that there is one thing motorists can do to avoid becoming victims, and it also involves technology.
“If people would just get off their phones . . . that’s the number one thing that keeps coming up over and over again. Because you literally put a target on yourself that you’re a victim because you’re completely unaware of what’s going on around you.” Dart warned.
Carjackings in Cook County have increased by approximately 43 percent in 2021 compared to the same period last year, according to Dart.