CHICAGO -- You’ve likely heard of dealerships and rental lots being hit by gangs of thieves.
In April, as many as ten cars were taken from the Hertz O’Hare lot in just two minutes. Andrew Henning from Chicago’s Crime Commission says, “Gang members will steal cars in Chicago. They will then go out to the suburbs and go into Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin and they’ll steal guns and drugs.”
Dealerships aren’t the only places targeted. Many neighborhoods are experiencing a problem as well. WGN Investigates broke down the numbers by going to the Chicago Police Department database which keeps track of every reported auto theft in Chicago.
In the first six months of the year, Chicago had just a little over 5,600 vehicle thefts. That’s up from last year by about 500 cars or a ten percent increase. Sounds like a lot but the National Insurance Crime Bureau says the Chicago area doesn’t even make the top ten list of hot spot cities for auto thefts.
These are the wards with the most reported cases in the first six months of the year.
5. The 8th Ward with 189 cases.
4. The 2nd Ward with 194 cases.
3. The 37th Ward with 202 cases.
2. The 24th Ward with 219 cases.
1. The 27th Ward with 231 cases.
After looking at years of data on car thefts in Chicago, the numbers are actually down this year from 2012 when they had more than 8,000 reported cases in the first half of the year.
Meanwhile, City Council just approved an ordinance requiring dealerships to remove keys from vehicles and keep them in a safety box overnight. Rental lots at O’Hare/Midway airports are coming up with a separate safety plan with police.