CPD, Cook County deputies partner on new vehicle-related theft defense


CHICAGO — Chicago police are asking for the public’s help to deal with a surge in stolen cars and other robberies, with top commanders teaming up with the Cook County Sheriff’s Department to implement a new strategy.  

CPD is distributing new tools to discourage catalytic converter thefts and other measures to harden vehicles against car theft. 

Leo Schmitz is the Chief of Police of the Cook County Sheriff’s Department.

“People know that cars can be tracked and they know they can be caught,” Schmitz said.

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Law enforcement said Tuesday that there needs to be prevention. According to top CPD commanders, Cook County windshield vehicle tracking decals are helping to recover stolen cars quicker.  

“The top vehicles being stolen are Hyundais, Kias, Chevys, Fords, and Dodges,” said CPD Chief of Patrols Brian McDermott.

McDermott said data analysis shows the pattern. Deputies add that 44% of all stolen vehicles in 2023 thus far involve a Hyundai or Kia vehicle for one primary reason.

“It’s easy to steal them,” Schmitz said.

Police point to lock devices for cars and trucks; simple but effective, they say. Moreover, CPD is partnering with auto manufacturers and insurance companies to make the devices affordable and easily accessible.

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“We’re distributing the [lock devices] at community events,” McDermott said. “The 15th District has already distributed 240 of them.”

The locking devices and tracking decals are also being distributed to help track down stolen catalytic converters. It’s part of the new effort, said Glen Brooks, CPD’s director of Community Police.

“Here is a significant tool,” Brooks says, “that the community can implement to make a difference.”

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