SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, is backing a measure that would close a legal loophole that is allowing carjackers back out on the streets.
“Criminals are exploiting a legal loophole and getting back on the streets without serving time for their crimes,” Scherer said. “There are people with known criminal histories getting caught in stolen vehicles that are being let go because they claim they borrowed the vehicle from a friend.”
Senate Bill 2339 would give judges or juries the ability to convict someone of carjacking if there is sufficient enough evidence to support the charge. As the law stands now if someone were to be found in a stolen vehicle, regardless of previous criminal history, including crimes of carjacking, they would very unlikely be convicted if the suspect stated the car belongs to a friend or relative. The bill also has a measure that closes’ loophole for minors that are caught stealing a car. Instead of just being released, they’ll be screened for mental health issues and see if they pose any safety risks. Should they need assistance, the minors will be given counseling and other necessary services to present a viable alternative to a life of crime.
“This bill will help our police officers do their jobs effectively, keeping people and their property safe” Scherer said. “This bill will also provide our youth a chance to lead a life with a better future.”