SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. John D’Amico, D-Chicago, passed legislation last week to close a loophole that has made it very difficult to prosecute carjackers.
“Families ought to know that the laws are written to keep them safe,” said D’Amico. “But carjackers are too often let loose because of a blatantly unfair loophole that makes our neighborhoods more dangerous.”
The Chicago Tribune recently reported city residents were victim to nearly 1,000 carjackings in 2017, roughly double the number in 2012. Currently, 9 out of 10 Chicago carjacking offenses do not result in an arrest, as very often suspects are released because they can take advantage of a loophole in the law by claiming they borrowed the car from a family member or friend. As a result, repeat offenders make up 37 percent of those arrested and charged in these cases.
The D’Amico backed-Senate Bill 2339 would close this loophole, making it easier for police and prosecutors to bring charges against carjackers. D’Amico’s legislation also directs courts to examine a youth’s prior arrests to determine the best course of action in order to cut down on repeat juvenile offenders.
“Carjackings are violent and malicious acts that punish the survivors with not just financial problems, but the longer lasting burdens of trauma,” D’Amico continues. “I won’t let carjackers continue to break the law and then use the same law to demand that their crime ought not be punished.”