Key fobARLINGTON HEIGHTS – To address rising vehicle and parts thefts in Illinois, State Senator Ann Gillespie sponsored two measures to protect drivers that were signed into law last week.

“Car thefts are becoming more frequent and sophisticated with advances in technology,” said Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights). “We must provide the legal remedies that law enforcement need to take down these increasingly organized rings of car thieves.”

House Bill 601 modernizes the definition of the possession of burglary tools offense to include devices designed to unlock or start a vehicle without a key and devices designed to capture or duplicate a signal from a key fob. Car thieves have exploited new technology that can pick up the RFID signal from a key fob at a distance, allowing a victim’s vehicle to be unlocked or stolen even while the fob remains in their home. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, Illinois saw a 13% increase in car thefts from 2019-2020.

To prevent the theft of car parts, House Bill 107 will crack down on the sale of stolen catalytic converters by classifying them as a recyclable metal. This classification subjects the sale of catalytic converters to thorough record keeping that includes the license plate number of the vehicle, verified name and address of the seller, and a signed declaration that the part was not stolen. The new law also prevents recyclable metal dealers from purchasing catalytic converters valued at over $100 with cash, further eliminating the market for these stolen parts.

“Eliminating market incentives for stolen parts is a smart on crime, preventative measure to ensure that these crimes do not happen in the first place,” Gillespie said.

House Bills 107 is effective immediately and House Bill 601 is effective Jan. 1, 2023.