Oct 25, 2022 - News

Cook County Sheriff debuts new sticker to try and curb carjackings

Reported carjackings in Chicago
Data: City of Chicago; Note: Total includes overall and aggravated carjacking incidents.; Chart: Axios Visuals

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart thinks car-tracking stickers could deter carjackings and help his department find stolen vehicles.

Why it matters: The Chicago area leads the nation in carjackings. Even as other types of violent crime have fallen in the last two decades, city data shows carjackings have risen, especially during the pandemic.

  • This while local carjacking arrest rates have fallen to their lowest levels in 20 years.

How it works: Owners of cars made after 2014 can register for the stickers through the Cook County Sheriff's website.

  • Signing up requires filling out a consent form that allows the department to use data pulled from the vehicle manufacturer's tracking system if the car is reported stolen.
  • Registrants get two stickers for the front and back that indicate the car is authorized for tracking.
  • In the event of a theft, registrants can contact law enforcement to start tracking the car immediately, Dart says.

What they're saying: "We're always looking for new ideas, and this seems to have some ability to help move this dial as a deterrent," Dart said in a press conference last week. "But the more important part of it is the ability to instantly track."

Yes, but: Some consumers are concerned law enforcement will use the program to track their location at other times.

The intrigue: When Dart's staff has asked suspected carjackers what they'd do if they knew a car was being tracked, the answer "was quite unanimous," he said, "they'd just go to another car."

Of note: Dart says anyone who drives in Cook County can sign up for the program even if they live outside the county.

guy next to a sticker
Sheriff Tom Dart stands next to an image of the new sticker. Screenshot courtesy of the press conference live stream

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