New Illinois laws take effect Jan 1, 2023 after carjackings increase 767%

Illinois has seen a 767% increase in vehicle thefts over the last year. AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

(WTVO) — Three new laws that take effect on Jan. 1, 2023, are aimed at preventing vehicle thefts and carjackings.

The first law makes it illegal to possess anything that unlocks or starts a car–other than a key fob– without permission of the owner. Such devices are considered burglary tools, the law states.

Another law ensures that carjacking victims are not liable for violations or fees involving their stolen vehicles.

The third provision that goes into effect on Jan. 1 provides grants and financial support to municipalities to assist with the identification, apprehension and prosecution of carjackers and the recovery of stolen vehicles.

With certain Kia and Hyundai models the most at risk, Illinois has seen a 767% increase in vehicle thefts over the last year.

Robert Passmore, department vice president with the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, said the increase in stolen cars is causing significant financial problems for victims, often leading to insurance rates increases. 

“The difference in cost might lead some people not to get it, but that’s what you would need to protect yourself if you’re concerned about your vehicle being stolen or having the catalytic converter stolen,” Passmore told The Center Square. 

More than 1,300 carjackings have been reported in the Chicago area this year.