Illinois Democrats propose additional funding to fight carjackings, retail theft
CHICAGO - Carjackings in Chicago have more than tripled since 2019, rising even faster in some suburbs. Now, Democratic lawmakers in Springfield are proposing to spend more money to crack down on them.
They also plan to offer more money to fight retail theft, another frightening crime that is also exploding across the city and suburbs.
"We have seen, both on the carjacking and the retail theft, a very clear pattern of, you know, almost organized criminal syndicates when it comes to that. So, I know that there will be some bills that will be filed within the next 48 hours," said State Rep. Kam Buckner (D-Chicago).
DOWNLOAD THE FOX 32 CHICAGO APP FOR BREAKING NEWS ALERTS
After recovering tens of thousands of stolen goods worth millions of dollars from several local hiding places, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul's organized retail crime task force said the criminal masterminds of it are also linked to human trafficking and to illegal narcotics.
Republican lawmakers on Wednesday complained that for several years now, they've been proposing new laws to crack down on it, but have been blocked by the Democratic supermajority.
"We've been frozen out of discussions on criminal justice for the past five years. And in that time, what we've seen in the arc has been lessening deterrence, lessening accountability in the criminal justice arena," said State Sen. John Curran (R-Downers Grove).
SIGN UP FOR EMAIL UPDATES FROM FOX 32 NEWS
"And we've seen a significant spike in violent crime that has gone in tandem with the policies that the democrats have passed on their own," Curran added.
Buckner, who is chairman of the Illinois House Black Caucus, said he would support more money for law enforcement to crack down on carjacking and retail theft, but only with more money for social programs intended to persuade people away from a life of crime.