What’s the Law Doing?


While you are protecting yourself from auto theft, Colorado Law Enforcement Task Forces are working vigilantly to lower the number of auto thefts in our state. Thanks to Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority (CATPA), grant money supports the following initiatives in Colorado:

Automated License Plate Readers (ALPR)

This technology uses optical character recognition to automatically read license plate information, gathered by a special vehicle armed with multiple cameras that can read hundreds of plates a minute while moving. The system runs the data through a national or local database, alerting the officer if a match is made.

Bait Car Program

A bait car is a police-owned vehicle intended to entice car thieves. Once stolen, police dispatchers use its GPS tracking to monitor location, speed and direction. Everything inside the car, audio and video, is recorded. After the dispatcher coordinates the response and the officers are in position, the engine is disabled with the click of a button, allowing for a quick arrest of the thieves (source: baitcar.com).

Vin Etching

A VIN, or Vehicle Identification Number, is a unique identifier that is etched into a vehicle’s windshield or windows. VIN etching makes selling parts more difficult and risky for the thief and increases the odds of a vehicle’s successful recovery. When buying a used vehicle, always check the VIN to ensure it has not been stolen.

Colorado Auto Theft Check Up

Developed by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), this theft prevention checkup is a quick, 3-part questionnaire to help you determine how many layers of protection you need for your vehicle(s).

Puffer Awareness

“Puffer” is the term used to describe exhaust vapors that come out of a running vehicle’s tailpipe in cold weather. To a thief, they advertise a car as unlocked with keys in the ignition. Colorado law enforcement and community partners have teamed up to educate the public about the dangers of leaving your car running unattended.