red tieCHICAGO – Last year alone, more carjackings were reported in Chicago than in any other city. To address the increase in car thefts and hijackings, State Senator Bill Cunningham supported and co-sponsored a series of bills that were signed into law Thursday. 

“Carjackings have skyrocketed in Chicago,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the Southwest Suburbs. “Innocent people are affected by this crime daily, so we have to address the issue head-on by giving law enforcement the tools they need.”  

The bills signed into law include: 

House Bill 601, which seeks to thwart tech-savvy car theft rings. Car thieves have exploited new technology that can pick up the signal from a key fob at a distance, allowing a victim’s vehicle to be unlocked or stolen even while the fob remains in their home. The new law modernizes the definition of the possession of burglary tools offense to include devices designed to unlock or start a vehicle without a key and devices designed to capture or duplicate a signal from a key fob.   

House Bill 3699, provides law enforcement with additional resources to coordinate efforts to put a stop to carjackings. The new law will fund the formation of law enforcement task forces to track carjacking rings that operate in multiple jurisdictions. Similar task forces have been successful in enabling police to share criminal intelligence to target narcotics trafficking.  

House Bill 3772, which will provide protections for victims of carjackings who receive red light or speed camera violations after their vehicle has been hijacked. The law will also waive towing and storage fees for victims of carjacking if their vehicle is recovered and brought to an auto pond.  

“It is both foolish and unfair to hold victims responsible for any fees or citations placed on a car after it has been stolen from them,” Cunningham said. 

The new laws take effect Jan. 1, 2023.