DENVER — The Denver Police Department (DPD) is calling for preventive action after warning residents there was a 145% increase in auto thefts since the beginning of this year in comparison to the same period last year.
Between Jan. 1 and March 15, 2021, approximately 2,345 vehicles were reported stolen, according to DPD. During the same period in 2020, there were 956.
“Auto theft not only deprives our neighbors of critical transportation for work, school, and other family needs, many stolen vehicles are used in the commission of additional felony crimes,” said Chief Paul M. Pazen. “To help address this issue impacting our community, we are working to raise awareness and encourage residents to partner with us in preventing auto theft to the greatest extent possible.”
> The video above aired earlier this month and describes the increase in auto theft according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
DPD recommends owners take these proactive steps to help deter criminals:
- Lock car doors and roll up windows
- Remove keys, fobs, and valet keys
- Park in secure garages when possible
- Never leave the vehicle running and unattended (puffing)
- Use an anti-theft device, such as a car alarm and/or steering wheel lock
- Report suspicious behavior
Top stolen vehicles in Denver this year:
- Chevrolet, Silverado
- Kia, Optima
- Honda, Accord
- Hyundai, Sonata
- Ford, F250
- Honda, Civic
- GMC, Sierra
- Chevrolet, Tahoe
- Hyundai, Tucson
- Hyundai, Elantra
Denver Police said officers will continue high visibility patrols to deter criminals and prevent auto thefts.
DPD explained that officers regularly work to locate and recover stolen vehicles, arresting those identified as committing auto thefts.
So far this year, 97% of stolen vehicles were recovered statewide, according to DPD. However, these recovered vehicles are often not in the same condition in which they were stolen, which is another reason to ensure theft deterrents are in place, said DPD.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Local stories from 9NEWS