I'm sorry to tell those of you who guessed Byron, Scales Mound, or Leaf River as being the car theft capital of Illinois--those guesses are incorrect.

Even if every single resident of those Illinois towns went out right now and stole a car, they'd still come up short of what the car thieves in one Illinois city drove off with in 2022.

Byron has around 3,700 residents, Scales Mound has 435, and Leaf River has 427. That gives us a total of 4,562 potential car thieves, which is wildly shy of 21,516 car thefts that occurred in this place in 2022 (up from 13,856 the previous year.)

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Leave the driving to us! (Getty Images)
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Chicago Leads Illinois And The Entire Country In Cars Being Stolen (But They're Probably Not Going To Brag About It)

Although, one of Chicago's two current mayoral candidates has not been shy about mentioning the problem and assigning blame for it (but, that's for Chicago's voters to sort out).

Chicago's car theft numbers are pretty stunning over the last couple of years, and January of this year was really crazy by itself, according to WirePoints.org in a piece from late January:

There’ve been a stunning 2,169 motor vehicle thefts so far this year in just 22 days. That’s pretty much 100 a day. Through January 22 they are 165 percent greater than in 2022 and 349 percent more than in 2019.

As far as individual states go, California and Texas are numbers one and two when it comes to stolen cars, but Illinois holds the distinction of having the largest increase in car thefts of any of the top ten states for stolen cars with car thefts skyrocketing 35% between 2021 and 2022.

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You don't have to drive to Chicago to have your car stolen. (Getty Images)
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While Rockford's Car Theft Numbers Are Quite A Bit Less Than Chicago's, It's Still A Problem Here, Too.

Don't get me wrong, it's nice to know that you don't have to drive 80-plus miles and pay a bunch of tolls to have your car taken from you--but, I think it's safe to assume that Rockford law enforcement would appreciate our local car thieves taking a few months off.

Here in Rockford, as WREX.com points out, the numbers of stolen cars keeps climbing:

Auto theft crimes have gone up 73%, from 420 in 2021 to 726 in 2022.

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