DENVER — The Denver metro area has seen an unprecedented increase in vehicle thefts during the pandemic, and the problem hasn't lessened in the first three months of 2022, according to the CATPA-Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force (C-MATT).
The most-stolen vehicle in the Denver metro area so far this year is Chevrolet Silverado, followed by Kia Sportage and Kia Optima, according to C-MATT.
The task force, composed of agencies across the metro area, hasn't yet released its full report on auto thefts between January and March, but the number of thefts were on track to increase.
So far in 2022, here are the 10 most-stolen makes and models:
In 2021, an average of 75 vehicles were stolen per day across the metro area for a total of 27,409. That was an increase of 39% over 2020 and an increase of 107% since 2019, according to C-MATT.
Put another way, about nine vehicles were stolen per 1,000 people last year in the Denver metro area, according to C-MATT.
> Video above: Many vehicle theft suspects are repeat offenders, police say
Of the vehicles reported stolen last year, 92% of those – or 25,222 vehicles – were recovered, according to C-MATT data.
Every county in the Denver metro area saw an increase in auto thefts last year. C-MATT's 2021 report broke down the numbers by county:
- Adams County had 5,565 thefts total, which was a 27% increase over 2020.
- Arapahoe County had 6,306 thefts total, for a 29% increase.
- Broomfield had 340 thefts total, for a 47% increase.
- Denver had 10,675 thefts total, for a 42% increase.
- Douglas County had 623 thefts total, for a 20% increase.
- Jefferson County had 3,900 thefts total, for a 42% increase.
- The Denver metro area had 27,409 thefts total, for a 39% increase.
- Statewide, there were 36,907 thefts total, for a 31% increase.
Statewide, vehicle thefts increased 83% for a total of 36,907 thefts between 2019 and 2021, but thefts in the Denver metro area made up most of that. When the metro area was removed, thefts in the rest Colorado increased only 36% from 2019 to 2021, according to C-MATT.
According to law enforcement, thieves steal cars for various reasons. To be chopped for parts, used in crimes, sold or even lived in.
Law enforcement says to protect yourself and lock your car.
> Video below from March 31: Vehicle thefts are out of control, independent car dealers say:
This story includes previous reporting by Jon Glasgow.
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