Chicago area listed as 'hot spot' for car thefts
CHICAGO - A new report shows the Chicago area ranks as one of the worst places for car crimes, while carjacking incidents have been speeding to a new level.
David Glawe is the President and CEO of the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
"One of the stark and concerning issues from Chicago is carjackings are up more than 134 percent from last year," he said.
That carjacking jump put Chicago on the "hot spot" list in a new report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau. The report shows car thefts rose 11 percent in the Chicago area in 2020, compared to 2019. That makes Chicago the number three city for total thefts.
In Illinois, car thefts increased 13 percent in 2020, with more than 28,000 cars swiped. And it's not just a problem here.
"Nationwide in 2020 we've seen an 11 percent increase. This is the highest increase we've seen in over a decade," Glawe said.
Glawe says the increase coincides directly with the pandemic, which has brought unemployment and frustration to many.
To protect your wheels, Glawe drives home the importance of common sense.
"If you have a car alarm, set your car alarm. And, believe it or not people are still leaving their keys in their car and key fobs so people can go door to door shaking the handles. If the door is open, the key fob is in there, you're off and running," he said.
What would it take to cool down hot spots like Chicago? Glawe says it goes beyond law enforcement and requires a community strategy that includes school and employment opportunities for at-risk youth.