CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO) — Car thefts in Chicago are rising faster than anywhere else in the country, according to a new study by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).
Auto thefts increased 55% in 2022, the study showed.
The organization’s president and CEO David Glawe told The Center Square that “Over one million vehicles were stolen nationwide in 2022. States that saw the largest increase in vehicle thefts were Illinois, Washington and New York. There is little deterrence with vehicle thefts treated as property crimes. Organized gangs and juveniles steal vehicles and use them to facilitate other crimes.”
Car thefts were up 7% across the country. In 2021, Chicago had 13,856 reported carjackings and car thefts. In 2022, that number had grown to 21,416.
“Vehicle crime is certainly still a major issue across the nation and while there are many reasons for this, NICB data does not point to one specific reason,” the NICB said. “We know that criminals steal vehicles to commit other crimes, sometimes vehicles end up in chop shops, get shipped overseas, or cross the border into Mexico.”
Over the last three years, catalytic converter thefts have gone up 1,200%.
Cars from Kia and Hyundai accounted for a number of those stolen, as thieves shared a method to exploit a design flaw on TikTok. The companies have since provided a software update intended to reduce thefts.