Chicago Police Department, Cook County Sheriff’s Office have free tools to help prevent Kia, Hyundai car thefts

CHICAGO (WLS) — The Chicago Police Department and Cook County Sheriff’s Office shared new theft prevention devices that drivers can get for free to protect their cars from either being stolen or having parts stolen, like etchings to mark catalytic converters and tracking tags for cars that don’t have GPS .

“People who are stealing these cars, they see these tracking and they walk away,” said Cook County Sheriff’s Department of Public Safety Chief Leo Schmitz. “They know we’re on ’em.”

READ MORE: More Hyundais, Kias stolen on NW Side

There are also clubs to lock the steering column in Hyundais and Kias.

“The club makes it much harder for them to steal those cars,” said Glenn Brooks, CPD director of community policing.

Police said Kias and Hyundais make up 44% of all stolen cars in 2023. These cars are also being used at an alarming rate in violent crimes, including homicides, according to CPD Patrol Chief Brian McDermott.

RELATED: CPD warns of 4 Hyundai car thefts in 1 neighborhood in past week

Why do thieves choose one car over another? Local authorities said ease of theft is the number one factor, and some new tools aim to make it more difficult to steal and get away with vehicles. And the tools to prevent theft are free.

Each Chicago police district will have a car safety day. CPD is urging residents to schedule a time to come in.

The department is also offering to reimburse the cost of a new GPS in older cars so they can be found if stolen.

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