Sheriff Dart Calls on Congress to Make 24/7 Carjacking Hotline National

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

Citing the urgent need to address the rise in violent carjackings across the country, Sheriff Thomas J. Dart called on Congress today to follow Illinois’ lead and require automakers to create a quicker way for police and victims to access the location of hijacked vehicles. “Hijacked vehicles are often used to further additional violent crimes, including armed robbery and homicide, but we can find many of these cars quickly if automakers would remove unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles to providing critical location data,” Sheriff Dart said. “Illinois lawmakers were right to overwhelmingly pass legislation to require automakers to create 24/7 hotlines to provide tracking information after a carjacking in a way that protects consumer privacy. The federal government can easily follow suit here, saving lives and limiting this vicious, violent crime that has left too many people afraid to drive.” Resolutions have been introduced in the General Assembly by state Rep. Martin Moylan and state Sen. Willie Preston calling on Congress to help address carjackings and create a national hotline. Cook County saw 1,838 reported carjackings in 2022, up 24 percent from 2020. Meanwhile, data from the Council on Criminal Justice shows that the number of carjackings increased 24 percent across seven cities from 2020 to 2022. Those cities include Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Memphis, Norfolk, and San Francisco. Many vehicles built after 2015 have tracking capabilities, but legal access to that data is routinely delayed when automakers do not staff existing call centers afterhours, require victims to pay a service fee to activate tracking, or institute legally unnecessary hurdles. To demonstrate the issue, Sheriff Dart played audio of a Sheriff Police Officer’s interaction with Acura in trying to locate a 2020 Acura sedan carjacked at gunpoint from an 85-year-old woman in the 4200 block of west Henderson Street on April 28.

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