Since 2014, metro Denver auto thefts have risen 65 percent. That is according to Coloradans Against Auto Theft, or CAAT.
The rise of the number of robberies comes as more people with cars come to Colorado, increasing the number of available opportunities for thieves.
“One of the most common factors we see is ease of access and the number of targets that are there,” said Sgt. Josh Vasconcellos with the Denver Police Department.
Vasconcellos predicts District One in the Northwest Portion of Denver, where year to date, more than 750 cars have been stolen.
In Denver proper, that number is more than 10,000.
“The thieves are shopping like we are. They are shopping for certain makes and models of cars,” added Carole Walker with CAAT. “And a stolen vehicle is involved in all of those crimes. Especially in drug crimes, robberies, home invasions – these all involve a stolen vehicle.”
Areas with the most stolen cars tend to be streets crowded with cars and parking lots. Vasconcellos and Walker agree that thieves are looking for easy access, so something as simple as moving a purse inside can deter a thief. Even staying outside to clean ice off your car while it warms will keep it safer.
“It’s the conversation,” Vasconcellos said. “Having that conversation with people in the community and being able to talk to them about what’s going on is so important.”
The 40 percent of stolen cars in the Denver are Honda Civics and Honda Accords, according to Colorado Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force.
Vasconcellos says thieves will learn how to break into one car. They then tend to stick with stealing those cars as they get better at breaking into them.
The top ten most stolen cars in Metro Denver are:
- Honda Civic
- Honda Accord
- Subaru Impreza
- Ford F250
- Jeep Cherokee
- Ford F350
- Subaru Legacy
- Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Toyota Camry
- Chevrolet Silverado
Keep your purse or bags in the trunk or anywhere out of view. However, no matter where you are and what is the make of your car, authorities say, do not leave valuables inside the car. It is the most effective way to prevent the robbery.