police car

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois may soon have a law on the books to help law enforcement quickly track stolen vehicles, thanks to State Senator Michael E. Hastings. 

Hastings (D-Frankfort) advanced House Bill 2245, which requires Cook County to establish a vehicle theft hotline to facilitate the location of a stolen vehicle.

“We must embrace technology to give law enforcement the tools to track carjackers and tackle this epidemic,” Hastings said. “The quicker we are able to locate where a carjacker is, the safer our communities will be.”

Law enforcement officers said they are at a disadvantage when it comes to putting a stop to the crime because they can’t access real-time tracking information after the incident.

This measure would also allow law enforcement to contact auto manufacturers around the clock to ping where the car is located – allowing police to find the perpetrator and arrest them before they get away.

If a driver hasn’t subscribed to the vehicle’s tracking service, the car manufacturer will waive all fees related to the tracking service during law enforcement response or investigation.

The hotline will operate 24 hours, every day of the week and will be available to state, county, and local law enforcement throughout the state for the purpose of tracking vehicles that have been stolen or used in a kidnapping.

According to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, the county saw 1,831 reported carjackings in 2022. That year was down 10% from 2021, but still up 23% from 2020.

“This measure will help ensure we are able to locate vehicles faster and also help prevent it from being used in additional violent crimes,” Hastings said. “We need to continue to work together to alleviate crimes in our communities and ensure our families are safe.”

House Bill 2245 passed the Senate’s Special Committee on Criminal Law and Public Safety with bipartisan support and now heads to the floor for consideration.