Crack Cars

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Winnebago County is third in Illinois for having the most amount of car thefts. But what's surprising is many of these cars are returned, sometimes even blocks from our home.

Just in the last few years...four cars have been stolen from relatives of Patricia Busby. She thinks drug addicts are most likely responsible. But the mother of four says she doesn't blame the thieves and would do the same if she had to.

"You barely can get a job people with criminal backgrounds, it's hard to get a job and if it's hustling is the only way to make it, that's what they're gonna do," Patricia Busby says.

The Northern Illinois Auto Theft Task Force says about 40-percent of cars stolen in the Stateline are drug-related. Many are considered "crack cars" which is when the stolen car is rented out to a drug dealer in exchange for drugs such as crack cocaine. But inspectors say they can only do so much.

"Even if we recover the car all the items that this person this addict has already taken has been sold and given back for more dope," says Inspector Patrick Staples.

Inspector Staples says many of the cars stolen usually are returned. That's because drug addicts leave them back in the same area -- from where they were stolen.

According to the Northern Illinois Auto Theft Task Force -- 407 cars were stolen in Winnebago and Boone Counties. Of those -- 314 have been recovered.

They also report most cars are stolen from the 1600 block of Rural Street, 3300 block of West State, and 4900 block of
Auburn Street.

The group is also working on busting more chop shops where people break down stolen cars and sell off parts.