CHICAGO — The Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Council (MVTPC) today announced its 2011 grant program designations. The Council awarded nearly $6.5 million to 12 agencies, including three serving Chicago, that investigate and prosecute auto theft, audit salvage yards, and provide public education, officer training, and data analysis.
“In light of recent statistics showing a jump in Chicago auto theft, it is vitally important to support vehicle theft prevention, recovery, and prosecution efforts that have been consistently effective,” said Acting MVTPC Chair Brad G. Demuzio, director of the Illinois Secretary of State Police Department.
Agencies that will receive funding for 2011 include:
Cook County Motor Vehicle Theft Prosecution Unit $802,644
DuPage BATTLE Auto Theft Task Force $433,199
Insurance Vehicle Expense Fund $63,590
Illinois State Police Motor Vehicle Clearinghouse $432,541
Illinois State Police Training Academy $110,641
Kane-Cook County Auto Theft Task Force $458,048
Metro-East Auto Theft Task Force $694,112
Northeastern Metro Auto Theft Task Force $386,362
Northern Illinois Auto Theft Task Force $624,188
Secretary of State Audit Team $1,282,036
State & Local Auto Theft Enforcement Task Force $400,784
Tri-County Auto Theft Task Force $801,305
In 2009, specialized auto theft task forces and investigative teams recovered 1,279 vehicles valued at about $13 million. Agencies that combat and prosecute Chicago vehicle theft include Kane-Cook County Auto Theft Task Force, Northeastern Metro Auto Theft Task Force, and the Cook County Motor Vehicle Theft Prosecution Unit.
The Council’s responsibilities, as listed in the Illinois Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Act, include assessing the scope of motor vehicle theft, allocating funds made available for the purpose of the Act, and developing and implementing strategies to combat motor vehicle theft.
The Act requires that certain insurance companies pay into a special trust fund in the state treasury. Insurance companies licensed to write private passenger comprehensive coverage are required to pay $1 into the fund annually for each vehicle insured the previous year. Collected and administered by the Council, contributions to the fund totaled $6.4 million in 2009. Day-to-day work of the Council is carried out by Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) staff.
“This partnership of the insurance industry and the criminal justice system has had a significant impact on vehicle theft in Illinois at no cost to taxpayers,” said ICJIA Executive Director Jack Cutrone. “These collaborative efforts are particularly important as we address increasing rates of auto theft in tight economic times.”