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Alderman Osterman Helps Pass Anti-Theft Ordinances Involving Cell Phone Stores And Car Dealerships

An new ordinance targeting cell phone stores and car dealerships cleared the City Council today after passing the Public Safety Committee last week. The measure which was introduced by the committee which includes Alderman Harry Osterman, is expected to help deter criminals from stealing mobile devices at retail locations and vehicles for sale on auto lots.

The first ordinance regards some car dealers and rental agencies that have been regularly leaving keys in their autos or in a specific collected area on their lots overnight. The thieves have been taking advantage of the practice by breaking in, accessing the keys and easily taking the vehicles.  Some thieves choose to steal dealer’s specialty license plates as well to use on stolen vehicles.

At least one Edgewater area dealership was victim to the thefts. In many instances, the criminals will use these cars to perpetrate further crimes. To see the ordinance in its entirety, please click here.

The second ordinance targets cell phone stores and the resale of stolen phones. 14,493 cellphones were reported lost or stolen in Chicago in 2016. In some of these thefts, pedestrians were held up at gunpoint or violently attacked in order to obtain the mobile devices. In one of those crimes a woman at the Fullerton CTA red line station was killed after pushed down a flight of steps following the theft of her cell phone.

The used cell phone measure will prohibit cellphone resale stores, kiosks and service providers from buying or activating mobile devices until the serial number is cross-checked with a database of stolen phones. According to Alderman Osterman, this ordinance was drafted to curb the rise of thefts occurring on the El, around college campuses, and around our City. To see the full ordinance, please click here. 

“Everything we can do, big and small, to address safety in our city has to be done because of the violence we have been seeing today,” Alderman Osterman told EVB. “My hope is that once this ordinance passes and takes effect, we will see a great reduction in these types of incidents that are occurring.”


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