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55% rise in Denver metro car thefts in 2020

The surge began mid-march after the first Stay at Home order was issued, a report says.
Credit: Larry Bases

DENVER — The Denver metro area saw 7,150 more vehicle thefts in 2020 than in 2019, according to a report by the Colorado Metropolitan Auto Task Force (C-MATT.)

An uptick in thefts began in mid-March, said C-MATT, when the first Stay at Home order was issued. 

> Video above: RAW: Car theft from mechanic caught on security camera, that aired on Oct. 17, 2017.

Three weeks after the March 15 order, the Denver metro averaged 261 thefts in the first quarter compared to 235 in weeks prior. 

This number only continued to increase, in the second quarter, the average grew to 390 and ended at 459 in the fourth quarter of the year. 

C-MATT said this is an approximate 95% increase from the first eight weeks of 2020 to the last eight weeks of 2020. 

The state was able to keep its recovery rate in line with previous years at 87%, compared to the U.S. average rate of between 45-55%. 

Credit: C-MATT

The Denver metro saw a 55% increase in car thefts, from 13,035 in 2019 to 20,185 in 2020. 

Economically, the Denver metro area's loss was more than $179 million compared to $115.8 million in 2019.  

C-MATT provides a summary of their auto theft information based on population: 

  • The Denver metro area’s per capita rate for stolen vehicles is one stolen vehicle for every 687 population. The state’s per capita rate is one stolen vehicle for every 479 population.
  • Every county in the Denver metro area had double-digit increases, with the lowest being Adams County, with a 46% increase. The highest was Broomfield County, with an 82% increase. Denver County and Adams County still have the highest per capita rates in the metro area.
  • Every municipality in the Denver metro area showed double-digit increases in motor vehicle theft except Lone Tree, Cherry Hills and Mountain View.
  • Recoveries of stolen motor vehicles remained high throughout the Denver metro area. It is expected that with substantially more vehicles being stolen that more stolen vehicles would be recovered.
Credit: C-MATT

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