THORNTON, Colo. — The past few days have been a whirlwind for Alicia Watkins. The mother of six boys had her car stolen Sunday morning while she was working delivering food in Boulder.
"Within not even a minute, I went to set the DoorDash down and a man had a spotter inside the building and another man from the parking lot jumped into my car and took off," Watkins said. "My car is 100% my livelihood to take care of my children, I cannot work without it."
The next day while driving around with a friend looking for her car, Watkins spotted it at a car wash, but she said the driver got away before police could respond.
Then, on Wednesday morning, she saw the car once again, abandoned in a parking lot. This time, to her great relief, she got it back, though her bank cards and many personal belongings were missing.
"Overwhelmed, happy, anxious. A lot of emotions, a lot of emotions right now," Watkins said.
Watkins is one of thousands of Denver-area residents who've been victimized by the significant increase in stolen cars in recent years. An increase that shows no signs of slowing down. According to the Colorado Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force, there have been more than 28,000 stolen cars so far this year in Metro Denver, a 13% increase from last year at this time and a 56% increase from 2020.
Alicia Watkins said, from now on, she will be taking every precaution possible to protect her car and she's urging everyone in Metro Denver to do the same.
"Keep your vehicle locked, keep your personal belongings out of your vehicle," Watkins said. "Just because you're a good human and wouldn't do that to someone doesn't mean someone won't do that to you.
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