Keyless entry vehicleSPRINGFIELD – To keep up with new technology used in car thefts, State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) passed legislation to modernize criminal law relating to possession of burglary tools.

“Car thefts are becoming more frequent and sophisticated with advances in technology,” Gillespie said. “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.

House Bill 601 passed the Illinois Senate and awaits further consideration in the Illinois House.