Democratic Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin sent letters to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and the Alliance for Automotive Innovation on Wednesday asking them to take action in response to a recent spike in carjackings.
Durbin, who serves as Senate Majority Whip and chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, called on Buttigieg to establish public-private partnerships with automotive manufacturers in order to help authorities find stolen vehicles, and create uniform standards for vehicle telemetry tools.
“Specifically, I urge the Department to work with the auto industry and law enforcement to coordinate uniform and standardized methods for law enforcement to seek vehicle manufacturers’ assistance in locating stolen vehicles,” Durbin wrote to Buttigieg. “This will help decrease carjacking incidents by assisting law enforcement in recovering stolen vehicles sooner, identifying perpetrators faster, and preventing stolen cars from being used in other crimes.”
“The auto industry must do more to provide law enforcement with the tools they need to combat carjacking,” Durbin wrote. “Developing uniform industry procedures to make it easier for law enforcement to contact manufacturers and access valuable location data on stolen vehicles would be an important first step … and I am prepared to support this effort any way I can.”
The letters follow a nationwide spike in carjacking incidents within major cities, with Minneapolis, St. Paul, Minnesota, Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C., all reporting significant increases, according to Fox News.
Democratic Pennsylvania Rep. Mary Scanlon was carjacked at gunpoint in December 2021 while in Philadelphia, which soon after sent out a guide to residents informing them of how best to deal with carjackers due to the spike in incidents.