Chicago Drivers Can Now Get Anti-Carjacking Stickers



Chicago is the carjacking capital of America, but authorities hope stickers will help turn things around. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says owners of cars made after 2014 can register for stickers that warn would-be carjackers that the vehicle is part of a tracking program, Axios reports. Drivers signing up for the program are required to sign a consent form allowing police to use data from the manufacturer’s tracking system as soon as a car is reported stolen. The county includes Chicago and many of its suburbs, and the sheriff says the program is open to anybody who drives in the area.

The sheriff’s office says most cars made after 2014 have tracking systems. Dart said at a press conference last week that help from automakers has helped reduce the time it takes to recover a stolen car by 85% over the last two years, though there are “certain manufacturers that still only operate their tracking from 9 ’til 5 and others that come up and say you need a search warrant,” NBC Chicago reports. The sticker program, he said, “will be something to deter people because we have talked to people we take into custody, and trust me, they have been clear that they don’t want to be dealing with cars that they know we are tracking.” He said the suspects were “quite unanimous” in saying that if they saw the sticker, “they’d just go to another car.”

Last year, there were more than 1,800 carjackings reported in Chicago, the most of any US city and more than five times as many as in 2014, CNN reports. Carjackings soared during the pandemic and, according to the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab, almost half of those arrested in connection with carjackings were under 18. “Our city and the people in it are rightfully terrified,” Dart said last week. “You cannot really think of a crime that could be more terrifying than somebody coming up to you when you’re in the security of your car and having a gun pulled on you.” (Read more carjacking stories.)

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