Auto Thefts Surge In Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) – Statistics released Monday show that many Chicago crime rates are dropping while auto theft has spiked.

CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman takes a closer look at the nearly 17 percent uptick.

Yerik Kaslow has car keys, but he can’t use them. 

That’s because someone stole his 1995 Saturn with the brand new engine.  The day it disappeared he says he thought, “Wow.  I’m pretty sure my car was parked right here.  And now it’s not anymore.”

He went to file a police report.  At the station, he found people who shared his misery.

Coincidence or something more?  Chicago crime stats show car theft is up nearly 17 percent from year to year.  In Kaslow’s Logan Square, it spiked about 10 percent.  But it’s not among some of the hardest hit districts.

At the 25th District, Grand and Central, officers say they get about three or four auto theft walk-ins a day – just on third watch.  Six months into the year, they had nearly 900 of the roughly 10,000 car thefts in Chicago. 

State Farm insurance agent Ann Nolan says it’s sometimes about car parts – and in the absence of security systems, sometimes about opportunity.  She also says their numbers don’t reflect the car theft spike.

“That’s because we have a lot of clients who have recently been dropping comprehensive coverage,”  she said, citing the recession.

Kaslow kept his coverage.  If he doesn’t recover his Saturn, he should get a payout.  For now, his bike is his transportation. 

His advice for car owners?

“Lock your doors. Get a Club.  Park your car as near to your home as you can on a well-lit street,” he said.

He took some of his own advice, and was still a crime victim.

Chicago police say they don’t have one particular cause for the year-to-year increase in car theft.  But they say they are responding.  In June and July, they arrested at least six people tied to auto-theft rings or chop shops.

  • Taxpayer 2

    I did all that, locked the doors of course. Use a steering wheel club and parked on a well lite street and car was stolen and police has not recover it yet. I believe flat bed tow trunks or regular tow trunks are use by thieves to steal cars. Some junkyards will take cars without a vehicle title too.

    Need to start installing black boxes in all tow trunks. If box is tamper with, jail time will be activated.

  • VIP, Cook County

    Bait Car in Chicago. Bring it on!!!:-)

  • GO Southside

    All of these thefts will rase everyone premiums, soon people will be a risk to insure. Making it every bit difficult to get insurance. I know the feeling of getting your auto stolen it stinks and if they recoup it, it is left like a skeleton.

  • Darneisha

    Just black homies, working their craft!!! Gotta pay for those crack rocks somehow.

    • Bill


  • Police: Crime Down In Chicago For July « CBS Chicago

    […] CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman reported Monday night that in the West Side’s Grand Central District, of… Six months into the year, they had nearly 900 of the roughly 10,000 car thefts in Chicago. […]

  • WOZ

    if you haven’t yet seen an episode of bait car ,you have to check it out!!!! i would love to see them come to chicago!1!! i am sure we would all see someone we know,,,,but they all look alike so who knows!!!!

  • dogood

    I know there are still some good people in Chicago, but it sure doesn’t seem like anything good is coming from there any more. Totally corrupt.

  • Tom

    Hide a kill switch in your car. I connected the ignition through an unused fog light switch to disable the ignition. It’s cheap, and it works. You might get some damage, but you’ll keep the car.

  • Get out now

    You couldn’t pay me to live in Chicago or on the East Coast for that matter. And anything over the Rockies is east coast. Those mountains are there for good reason.

  • AtlasObjectivist

    Welcome to Obama World – it only worse from here. Time to arm up… unless of course you live in Chicago where your second amendment rights have been taken, only criminals, aldermen and police can have guns. The rest of us are defenseless.

  • Mich Mike

    These are just Obama voters getting ready for 2012. Since many of them will vote numerous times, they need rides to get from precinct to vote for the dead people or all the extra voter regs. But voter fraud is not a big problem, we are told.

  • Louie

    Crime is down but car theft is up. I guess they stealing cars and travelin to the burb’s to pillage and plunder.

  • walter12

    Do you really think that anyone believes that the crime rate in Chicago is down?
    Chicago is now a cesspool of black crime, black and Mexican youth gangs, communists, traitors, deadbeats, black nationalists, dopers, nitwits, a Marxist city government, sky high taxes, and on and on.

  • Rick O'Shea

    Sounds like South Africa. I guess the people etting ready for a Ride To Vote campaign?

  • Mark Hillyard

    My jeep was broken into and they stole my very broken stereo junk. Wonder what happened when they sold it. Oh well! Insurance gave me one that works. Funny!
    My Dad was madder’n a hornet when they stole his fancy pickup truck. Cops found by the tracks sans the wheels. Was dad mad???

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