Brandon Johnson Reacts to Surging Chicago Auto Thefts by Blaming Automakers for Making Cars Easy to Steal

Chicago mayoral candidate Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson addresses supporters, T
AP Photo/Paul Beaty

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson (D) responded to the surge in auto thefts in his city by suing Kia and Hyundai, claiming both carmakers make their vehicles too easy to steal.

FOX News reported that Chicago Alderman Raymond Lopez (D) derided Johnson’s approach, saying, “Clearly, we don’t have a crime problem. We have a Kia problem in the city of Chicago, according to Mayor Johnson. The numbers speak for themselves – 104% increase from last year, a 234% increase in vehicle thefts from two years ago – but yet it’s the car’s fault.”

Lopez added, “It’s the fact that they are so easily taken by criminals who run rampant in the city of Chicago, but we have yet to hear our mayor say anything, one word, about the criminals running rampant in our streets,”

On May 24, 2023, ABC 7 noted there had been “more than 20,000 cars stolen in Chicago from May 2022 to May 2023.” And by August 24, 2023, the Chicago Sun-Times pointed out there had been “19,062 vehicle thefts this year, up more than 100% from the same point last year.”

Mayor Johnson released a statement criticizing Kia and Hyundai for the percentage of their cars being stolen, saying, “The failure of Kia and Hyundai to install basic anti-theft prevention technology in these models is sheer negligence, and as a result, a citywide and nationwide crime spree around automobile theft has been unfolding right before our eyes.”

Alderman Lopez responded to Johnson’s focus on automakers by saying, “We know why [criminals are] stealing these cars. We know what they’re doing with these cars, but the fact that we refuse to call out this behavior, and we’re giving cover to the criminals, seems to just be another liberal ploy. And to be perfectly honest, [it’s] a page from the socialist playbook because we’re blaming the manufacturer of the cars rather than the criminals on the street.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal in 2010, a speaker at the 2023 Western Conservative Summit, and he holds a Ph.D. in Military History, with a focus on the Vietnam War (brown water navy), U.S. Navy since Inception, the Civil War, and Early Modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at Reach him directly at


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