Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias has announced that his office is awarding more than $21 million in grants to six police organizations to combat carjackings and motor vehicle thefts in the state. The funding comes from the Illinois Vehicle Hijacking and Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention and Insurance Verification Council overseen by Giannoulias' office.

Council's Work to Prevent Carjackings

The council consists of 11 members who discuss strategies to prevent carjackings, motor vehicle theft, and recyclable metal theft. The council's work has led to 4,726 recovered vehicles valued at $92 million since 2018.

Funding Distribution

Giannoulias will provide the police organizations the following grants, earmarked for use in the upcoming year. Organizations can request full or partial grant renewals over the next three years to continue efforts to prevent carjackings and motor vehicle thefts:

GranteeFunding Amount
Expressway Safety Enforcement Group$10,264,503
Illinois Statewide Auto Theft Task Force$3,381,759
Metro East Auto Theft Task Force$2,456,527
Greater Peoria Auto Crimes Task Force$2,150,700
Tri-County Auto Theft Task Force$1,841,000
Chicago Major Auto Theft Investigations$1,451,011

Total Funding: $21,545,500
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.

Fighting Carjackings and Vehicle Thefts

Chicago saw a 55% increase in auto thefts in 2022, greater than any other city in the nation, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Meanwhile, there were 1,655 reported carjackings in Chicago in 2022, more than triple the amount in 2012, according to city figures.

Giannoulias says the grants will provide law enforcement needed financial resources to recover stolen vehicles and prevent carjackings that have been occurring all too frequently throughout the state. The funding will energize and sustain efforts to pursue violent offenders and create a safer Chicago, according to Interim CPD Superintendent Eric M. Carter.

Carjackings and motor vehicle thefts have been on the rise in Illinois in recent years, posing a threat to public safety. The $21 million in grants will give law enforcement the resources they need to combat this problem and make communities safer. By working together, Illinois can continue to prevent carjackings and motor vehicle thefts and make the state a safer place to live and work.

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