Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash
Friday, August 12, 2022 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
The Maywood Police Department is alerting rideshare drives about what the department said has been an uptick in rideshare carjacking.
“Over the past two months, the village and surrounding suburban areas of Chicago have seen a significant rise in cases of rideshare carjacking,” Maywood Police Chief Elijah Willis said in an Aug. 10 statement.
“Drivers are being robbed for their belongings, their vehicle, and many times they are attacked at gunpoint once they reach the drop-off location,” the chief added.
Chief Willis advised rideshare drivers to be aware of their surroundings whenever picking up passengers. He said most of the “rideshare assailants are picked up somewhere in Chicago” and rob their victims in the suburbs.
“If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t,” Willis said, urging rideshare drivers to avoid carrying large amounts of cash or valuables and to call 9-1-1 immediately if they’re carjacked.
Anyone with information on carjacking or other crime in Maywood can contact the Maywood Police Department at (708) 450-4450 or call the Anonymous Tip Line at (708) 450-1787.
Meanwhile, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart is warning the public about what he said is a dramatic rise in thefts of certain models of Kia and Hyundai vehicles and urging owners of those vehicles to take extra anti-theft precautions.
“In the past few months, the number of such unoccupied vehicles stolen has skyrocketed in Cook County, mirroring increases reported in other cities across the country,” Dart’s office said in a statement released Aug. 11.
“Since July 1, there have been 642 reported thefts of Kia and Hyundai vehicles in Cook County, compared to 74 during the same period last year,” the office added. “This represents a 767% increase.”
Dart said his office “will continue to work closely with other law enforcement agencies and engage automakers to reduce dangerous car thefts and carjackings in Cook County.”
Dart’s office is encouraging owners of Kia and Hyundai vehicles to install aftermarket immobilization devices or kill switches that render vehicles inoperable without a separate key, car alarms with motion detection, steering wheel locking devices and/or vehicle tracking systems.
The Sheriff’s Office is also encouraging vehicle owners to complete a consent form that’s available on its website “that enables law enforcement agencies to more quickly obtain the cooperation of vehicle manufacturers to track stolen automobiles.”
Car owners who sign the consent form can also pick up stickers to put on their vehicles to notify would-be thieves that the vehicle can be tracked by investigators, Dart’s office said. Vehicle owners can obtain the stickers at any Cook County courthouse.
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