Remote central locking rPEORIA – A legislative package supported by State Senator Dave Koehler to improve public safety and offer financial protections to Illinoisans who are victims of auto theft was signed into law Thursday.

“Car thefts are on the rise, and too many Illinoisans are paying the price,” said Koehler (D-Peoria). “These laws take a multifaceted approach to prevent, address, and reduce these crimes.”

Car thieves have exploited new technology that can pick up the 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. To offer new resources to prosecutors, one of the measures, previously House Bill 601, states that a person is in possession of burglary tools when they possess a device designed to unlock or start a vehicle without the key or capture and duplicate a signal from the key fob.

The other pieces of legislation in the package, House Bill 3699 and House Bill 3772, further address carjacking in Illinois. House Bill 3699 provides law enforcement with additional resources for coordination against carjackings by allocating more than $6 million in grants to assist in the identification and apprehension of carjackers as well as implementing strategies to prevent future thefts.

House Bill 3772 protects individuals whose cars have been stolen from being held accountable for any red light camera or speed camera violations, fees, fines or penalties after the theft. It also allows for the reimbursement of up to $1,000 in towing and storage expenses accrued during that time.

“I’m proud to support these laws that will empower law enforcement and help protect Illinoisans from the financial consequences of car theft,” said Koehler.

All three laws go into effect Jan. 1, 2023.