In an effort to combat carjackings and motor vehicle thefts in Illinois, Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias awarded grants totaling more than $21 million to several police organizations, including the Chicago Major Auto Theft Investigations Unit of the Chicago Police Department, the Expressway Safety Enforcement Group, and the Illinois Statewide Auto Theft Task Force (ISATT) of the Secretary of State’s Police Department.
The funding originates from the Illinois Vehicle Hijacking and Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention and Insurance Verification Council, which Giannoulias’s office oversees. Giannoulias convenes regular meetings of council members and awards funding to assist law enforcement entities, including the Secretary of State Police, to combat carjackings and prevent motor vehicle thefts.
“There is no single solution, but these grants give law enforcement needed financial resources, which will provide a greater sense of focus and effort to recover stolen vehicles and prevent carjackings that have been occurring all too frequently throughout our state,” said Giannoulias. “People doing something so routine as getting in their car and driving shouldn’t have to fear that they’ll be robbed of their vehicle at gunpoint. Working together, we will continue to not only make our roads safer but also our communities, neighborhoods, and business districts.”
The Illinois State Police patrol Chicago expressways, and the “ISP’s expressway safety enforcement effort brings together the full force of patrol, investigations, license plate readers, air operations, and other assets,” said ISP director Brendan F. Kelly. “These grant funds will energize and sustain those efforts to pursue violent offenders and keep reducing violence.”
“Partnership is essential as we work to prevent and investigate vehicular hijackings and motor vehicle thefts,” said a Chicago Police Department statement. “This grant funding will help us bolster these efforts and create a safer Chicago.”
ISATT “will use this money to expand our investigations into crimes related to vehicular hijacking, auto theft, insurance fraud, rogue tow operators, and recyclable metal theft,” said Secretary of State Police Lieutenant Adam Broshous, ISATT director.
The Secretary of State’s office collects annual assessments on automobile insurance policies from the insurance industry to fund grant awards. In addition, the Illinois General Assembly appropriated an additional $30 million to combat carjacking and motor vehicle theft.
The council’s 11 members discuss strategies to prevent carjackings, motor vehicle theft, and recyclable metal theft.
For the Secretary of State’s office, log on to https://www.ilsos.gov/.