"Based on state police statistics
released [Sept. 23] by the Illinois Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention
Council, I am pleased to announce that Illinois continues to win the
battle against car theft," said Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
The Illinois Motor Vehicle Theft
Prevention Council, an arm of the Illinois Criminal Justice
Information Authority, reported that the rate of motor vehicle
thefts decreased 7 percent between 2002 and 2003. The rate of motor
vehicle theft in Cook County, where in 2003 nearly 75 percent of
Illinois' motor vehicle thefts occurred, decreased 8 percent during
Lori G. Levin, executive director of
the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, indicated that
the long-term trend reflects even better news.
"Between 1991 and 2003, the rate of
motor vehicle thefts in Illinois has declined 50 percent, and the
number of stolen vehicles decreased from 75,642 to 45,262," she
said. "This is a reduction of more than 30,000 vehicles annually and
equates to a savings of nearly $204 million for the citizens of
Using funds paid annually by auto insurance companies doing business
in Illinois, the Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Council has expanded
motor vehicle theft law enforcement by making grants that support
multi-jurisdictional task forces, special investigative teams,
training and other efforts throughout the state.
"The results of our concerted
efforts are impressive," the governor said. "And on behalf of the
citizens of Illinois, I applaud the authority, the council and their
grantees for their hard work."
[to top of second column in
According to the council, since
1991, funded grant programs have resulted in:
- 17,577 criminal investigations
- 32,078 audits of vehicle-related
- 10,000 violation letters issued
to audited businesses.
- 9,295 arrests.
- 3,579 convictions obtained.
- 24,933 stolen vehicles recovered,
worth nearly $186.7 million.
The council reports that the $72
million it has granted since its inception in 1991 has resulted in
the recovery of approximately $391 million in stolen vehicles and
reduced theft rates. This amounts to a return of more than $5 for
every dollar paid into the fund by the insurance industry.
"The task forces, investigative
teams and other programs have a proven history of successfully
reducing motor vehicle theft while saving our state money," said
Illinois State Police Director Larry G. Trent, who serves as chair
of the 15-member council. "This program reflects a successful
partnership between the insurance industry and the criminal justice
system and one which continues to be effective at reducing motor
vehicle theft in Illinois."
[News release from the
Illinois Criminal Justice