DENVER — The Denver Police Department (DPD) announced a new program that, they say, would prevent auto theft.
Dubbed DenverTrack, it's designed to help with vehicle recovery, auto theft arrests and auto theft prevention.
DPD Chief Ron Thomas and Lieutenant Ryan Harris announced the program Friday morning after the city said they have had record-breaking surge in car thefts.
“It’s no secret that our biggest crime challenge is auto theft. And we also know that many auto thefts lead to other crimes, often violent crimes,” Thomas said.
DPD said they researched what other cities around the country were doing to stem car thefts. Cook County, Illinois was one place that stood out to the department. In that area, they developed a vehicle tracker partnership that would combat carjackings. Harris said DPD repurposed the idea.
How does it work?
People provide information about themselves and their vehicle and agree that if it is stolen, they will give police access to tracking data.
What kind of tracking data are we talking about?
Data that is obtained through manufacturer-installed systems, such as OnStar or Bluelink, that’s available in most vehicles built since 2015.
What if my car is older and doesn’t have a built-in system like that – can I still participate?
Yes. Tracking can also be done with aftermarket GPS and Bluetooth systems.
Who is eligible?
Anyone who lives or works in the city of Denver.
How can I sign up?
One option is to go online to denvergov.org/denvertrack and fill out a form. Denver police will mail you stickers for your vehicle aimed at deterring would-be thieves.
Is there another way to enroll?
Yes – from 4-7 p.m. each day March 6 - March 10, officers and volunteers will be available to enroll people at each Denver Police district station(addresses for the police stations are at the bottom of the article).
Is there a cost?
No – not to enroll in the program. Some tracking systems and devices do cost money.
Are motorcycles eligible?
Yes – all motor vehicles are eligible
Can police track my vehicle even if it isn’t stolen?
No – participating in the program means you are pledging to share tracking data if your vehicle is stolen at a future date.
What if I sign up and later decide to opt out?
That can be done by sending an e-mail to email@example.com. Denver police will call you to verify that you want out of the program, then remove your vehicle from the system.
>Full Denver Police news conference announcing the DenverTrack program.
Harris said people interested in participating in the program can go to Denvergov.org/DenverTrack to sign up.
Those who register must provide vehicle and personal information. Once the application is filled out, participants can pick up a sticker. One of the stickers will be placed on the lower right-hand corner of the driver’s door. The second sticker option will be on the windshield facing the driver.
Harris said data from Cook County shows that the desire to steal a vehicle when it has the sticker, was reduced by 50%.
Denver Police stations addresses:
- District 1 – 1311 W. 46th Ave.
- District 2 – 3921 Holly St.
- District 3 – 1625 S. University Blvd.
- District 4 – 2100 S. Clay St.
- District 5 – 4685 Peoria St., No. 121
- District 6 – 1566 N. Washington St.
Colorado’s record-breaking surge in car theft is being driven, at least in part, by repeat offenders who steal one vehicle after another, a 9Wants to Know analysis of state court data found.
The question of what drives the state’s auto theft epidemic comes against this backdrop: 41,359 cars stolen in Colorado in 2022 – more than triple the number taken a decade ago.
That led 9Wants to Know to a question: Are there a lot more car thieves – or are there some car thieves who are stealing a lot more cars?
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