Munoz legislation combats spike in car thefts

munoz 050218SPRINGFIELD – Assistant Illinois Senate Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) is working to close a loophole that allows car thieves to avoid accountability in court.

Currently, officers are required to establish if the person driving a stolen vehicle has “knowledge” that the vehicle is stolen or converted in order to pursue charges. Knowledge is especially difficult to prove when the driver has the keys to a stolen vehicle, as occurs when a vehicle is obtained after a carjacking.

“Current law makes it too easy for car thieves to avoid taking full responsibility for their crimes,” Munoz said. “This measure gives law enforcement the tools to hold offenders accountable and get justice for car owners who are victims to these crimes.”

Senate Bill 2339 changes the law so “knowledge” that a vehicle is stolen may be inferred from surrounding facts and circumstances, which would lead a reasonable person to believe that the vehicle was stolen.

The legislation also creates a new process to deal with minors held for carjacking or possession of a stolen motor vehicle. The change would require minors charged with those crimes to be evaluated and given access to counseling and other recommended services.

The plan will now move to the House for consideration.

Sen. Antonio Munoz

1st District
Assistant Majority Leader

Years served: 1999 - Present

Committee assignments: Assignments;  Executive Appointments (Chairperson); Executive; Insurance; Veterans Affairs; Energy and Public Utilities.

Biography: Born Feb. 18, 1964, in Chicago; served in U.S. Army with the 82nd Airborne Division; City of Chicago-Mayor's License Commission, Local Liquor Control Section (1990); Dept. of Aviation; Mayor's Office of Budget & Management; member of Fraternal Order of Police; married (wife, Patricia), has three children.

Associated Representatives:
Theresa Mah
Aaron M. Ortiz