Matt Nalett

Matt Nalett

“Years ago, I drove Über and I drove Lyft and there was a year where a lot of rideshare drivers were getting carjacked. I kept finding them all over the place with the Über or Lyft logos still on while I was working, usually dumped in empty lots.”

“I kept calling 911 and telling them there was a suspicious auto to come check out. I later found out almost every single one of these cars had been stolen. I had to post the pictures somewhere where people could find these cars.”

“Even though it’s a crime against property, it’s still taking away peoples’ livelihoods. They need that vehicle for their jobs and their kids and for everyday life. So that was the beginning of the Chicago Stolen Car Directory.”

“I’ve seen it happen where a person had their car stolen and they lost their job because they couldn’t get back and forth to work. I’ve seen cases where people can’t take their kids to day care because they don’t have car seats anymore.”

“Car thefts are low priority for the police, too. But the way I see it, it’s one less stolen car causing chaos around the city, being used to rob people or steal catalytic converters. They do that all the time and then dump the car somewhere. And you know, someone really needs that car. Those thieves don’t.”

“At this point, I’ve seen cargo vans get stolen, old cars get stolen, new cars get stolen. I’ve seen everything and there’s really no discrimination. Anywhere you live, they’re going to come and steal your car if they want. The thieves don’t care.”

“Now you’ve gotta think: ‘Okay, I don’t have a car anymore. I gotta readjust my schedule. I gotta try and call an Über or cab to get to work.’ Or you’ve got to try to figure out how to get a rental car and God knows how long you’re gonna keep shelling out money on that every week. It just changes your whole life around.”

“I see it nearly every day, and every car has a different story behind it. Some are stolen from peoples’ houses. Others are taken from gas stations while still running or sometimes the thieves will just shoot someone and then steal their car. Use it to commit other crimes like stealing catalytic converters or another shooting or robbery.”

“They’re making money off the car, too. They’re not just joy riding. Some try to flip the cars.”

“Even if the car is returned, it’s still susceptible to being stolen again because the ignition’s already been popped, and the back windows are usually still broken. I’ve seen a car stolen at least four times, same block. The driver then has to change their plate number, get new plates, fix their window and fix their ignition column.”

“During the pandemic, somebody posted a video showing kids how to steal a Kia or Hyundai real quick as part of some social media challenge and since then, it’s like every other car stolen is a Kia or Hyundai. I’ve been seeing more young kids doing it, too. The youngest I caught with a stolen car was just 14.”

“If you want to slow down people trying to steal your car, add preventive measures to your vehicle. You’ll want to get aftermarket security. It can be anything as cheap as a steering wheel lock or an alarm system like Compustar or Viper.”

“You can also go to a stereo or alarm shop and have them put a hidden kill switch in your vehicle so only you can turn it on or get an aftermarket GPS installed in your car to track it. That’ll slow them down at least. It won’t necessarily prevent your car being stolen but it’ll slow them down.”

Matt Nalett
Founder, Chicago Stolen Car Directory
Chicago, Illinois

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