Cook County Sheriff’s office tells crowd how to prevent being a carjacking victim at Tinley Park seminar


TINLEY PARK, Ill. (CBS) — Police say awareness and knowledge can help you prevent becoming a victim of carjackings.

As CBS 2’s Jackie Kostek reported, that was the message behind a seminar in Tinley Park Thursday night, hosted by the village and by the Cook County Sheriff’s office.

The sheriff’s office understands the issue of carjackings is top-of-mind for many people, and they’re trying to give them as much information as possible so that they do not become a victim.

“We have every reason to be concerned and every reason to be demanding action,” Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said in a video presentation.

It was a full house inside the Tinley Park Convention Center as the Sheriff’s Office sought to arm people, especially seniors, with information.

“In 2021, we had 66 car thefts, and so crime is increasing. They’re working their way to the suburbs,” said Tinley Park Mayor Michael Glotz, “and we wanted to get the message out.”

“I’m very concerned even when I do go out, where I’m going to go – should I go? Where not to go; what not to do,” said Fran Demme of Oak Lawn.

The Sheriff’s office shared practical tips on where to be on high alert – residential driveways, parking lots, and near ATMs and gas stations.

They also highlighted vulnerable situations to be aware of – bump-and-runs, carjackers posing as stranded motorists, and drivers leaving their own cars running and unattended.

The Sheriff’s office further advises being aware of modern technology such as Apple AirTags – tiny tracking devices.

“They’ll track you back home, or wherever the thing is parked, so they can steal it overnight,” Sheriff’s office Senior Project Manager Roe Conn told the crowd.

Conn said using technology on your end can help you understand if it’s being used against you.

“If you’re in your car, and you get a notification that your car that there is a tracking device nearby – and it’s not yours, and it’s not someone else’s that just got in the car – there might be a vehicle tracking device on board the vehicle,” Conn said.

The Sheriff’s office urges people to remain vigilant in and around their cars.

“I don’t want to live in a bubble,” Demme said. “I’m trying to live some normalcy, but I want to use common sense too.”

While the Sheriff’s office says this is the first in-person carjacking seminar they’ve hosted, it’s the seventh overall – with the previous events having been hosted virtually. 

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