Chicago Community Alert Highlights Alarming Surge in Car Thefts

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The alert specifically targets a neighborhood where numerous vehicles have been targeted on the same street, sparking concern among local authorities.

 Car Thefts
Car Thefts ( Photo: NBC Chicago )

Residents in Chicago have been issued a community alert due to a significant rise in car thefts and vandalism

Recent data analysis by the I-Team has revealed that car thefts across the city have reached an all-time high, with an alarming increase in Grand Theft Auto cases over the past year alone. However, the newly released bulletin from the Chicago Police Department (CPD) highlights an even more staggering surge in car thefts within a single district.

The 1st Police District, located on the Near South Side, has become a hotbed for brazen car thefts. Particularly affected is Beat 133, covering South Martin Luther King Drive and neighboring streets. Within this area, 26 vehicles were targeted, some on the same day and even on the same block, with some thefts occurring within minutes of each other.

Former CPD Chief of Detectives, Eugene Roy, expressed concern about the workload placed on officers responding to these incidents. The high volume of calls leaves little time for proactive policing measures, intensifying the need to address the escalating car theft issue.

Reports indicate that the stolen vehicles were locked and unattended, and perpetrators gained access by breaking the driver or passenger side windows before absconding with the vehicles

The Chicago Police Bureau of Detectives has assumed responsibility for investigating these crimes, and Roy suggests the possibility of an organized crew being behind this wave of thefts.

While acknowledging that vehicle owners are not to blame for the thefts, Roy emphasizes the importance of taking precautions. He advises owners to park their cars in well-lit areas, which act as a deterrent to thieves. Additionally, it is crucial to remove any personal belongings, especially credit cards and identifying information, from the vehicle to prevent further crimes like identity theft.

To combat the rising tide of car thefts, the CPD recommends that owners of high-theft Kias and Hyundais acquire anti-theft steering wheel locks from local police Community Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) offices. Furthermore, city residents can register for reimbursement of GPS tracking device costs and opt for traceable markings to be etched onto catalytic converters, which have become targets for theft.

 

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