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Cook County Sheriff’s Office instructs crowd on how to avoid being the victim of a carjacking at Tinley Park seminar

TINLEY PARK, Ill. (CBS) — According to police, awareness and knowledge can help you avoid being the 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 the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office understands that the issue of carjackings is a major concern for many people, and they try to give them as much information as possible so they don’t become a victim.

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

It was a packed house inside the Tinley Park Convention Center as the sheriff’s office sought to arm people, especially the elderly, with information.

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

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

The sheriff’s office has shared practical advice 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 – bumps 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 technologies such as Apple AirTags – tiny tracking devices.

“They’ll meet you at your house, or wherever the thing is parked, so they can steal it overnight,” senior sheriff’s office project manager Roe Conn told the crowd.

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

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

The Sheriff’s Office is urging people to stay alert in and around their cars.

“I don’t want to live in a bubble,” Demme said. “I try to live a bit of normality, but I also want to use common sense.”

Although the Sheriff’s Office says this is the first in-person carjacking seminar it’s hosting, it’s the seventh overall – with previous events having been held virtually.


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