Denver Man Shot Trying to Recover Stolen Vehicle

October 3rd, 2023

A Denver man was injured via a gun shot wound while trying to recover his stolen vehicle. This highlights the dangers of confronting someone in a stolen vehicle. Always contact law enforcement if you see a stolen vehicle. Full story here.

Colorado Cracks Down on Fake Temporary Registration

August 8th, 2023

A popular “Prop document” retailer in Denver has been court ordered to stop production of their documents, and has had their assets frozen. Full story here at CBS tells the story of investigative efforts by the Colorado Department of Law.

Woman Shot Attempting to Recover Her Stolen Vehicle

July 11th, 2023

A woman was shot after she discovered her 2020 Silver Kia Optima had been stolen and used an air tag to track it down Sunday night, according to the Aurora Police Department. Read the full story Here A stark reminder to never approach a stolen car without the assistance of local law enforcement.


Motor Vehicle Theft Nexus to Record Drug Bust

July 6th, 2023

Motor Vehicle Theft (MVT) has a role to play in nearly every crime. Drug trafficking is no exception. The West Metro Drug Task Force recorded one of their biggest busts ever, and those indicted also face charges of MVT. Read the full story Here.

Colorado Auto Theft Laws are Changing – CSP is Ready, are You?

June 27th, 2023
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June 23, 2023



Colorado State Patrol Public Affairs Office

Colorado Auto Theft Laws are Changing

Colorado State Patrol is Ready, Are You?

(COLORADO) – On June 2, 2023, Governor Jared Polis signed Senate Bill 2023-097 which will soon go into effect on July 1. The Colorado Revised Statutes concerning Motor Vehicle Theft (MVT) experienced a significant overhaul this past legislative session to further reduce Colorado’s Motor Vehicle Theft rates.

Beginning late in 2022, Colorado’s month-to-month motor vehicle theft incidents showed a slight decrease that has become substantially more pronounced over the last few months. With Colorado already down 22% in auto thefts from January 1 – April 30 2023 compared to 2022, the effects of SB23-097 will help further reduce our communities’ vehicle theft rate.

SB23-097 is a sweeping act that significantly changes how MVT crimes are classified, including a focus on repeat and prolific offenders. Previously the severity of MVT crimes was directly tied to the value of the stolen vehicle. Vehicles of low value had misdemeanor or low-level felony charges tied to them, whereas high-value vehicles led to more severe felony classifications. Colorado has now entirely moved away from this value-tied crime structure in favor of a more equitable classification.

The new classification will create a new MVT in the 3rd Degree charge and Unauthorized use of a Motor Vehicle charge. The Unauthorized use of a Motor Vehicle is explicitly for the situation where a vehicle is not used in the commission of any crime barring traffic offenses, is returned to the owner within 24 hours, and is not damaged in the process of this unauthorized use.  Unauthorized use is a class 1 Misdemeanor with an aggravator to a Class 5 Felony for any second or subsequent offenses.

All other incidents of MVT will either be MVT in the 2nd or 1st degree, which are Class 4 and Class 3 felonies, respectively. Prolific offenders with two or more convictions or adjudications for MVT will be charged with MVT in the 1st degree. MVT in the 2nd degree will be for someone who obtains, receives, or exercises control over a stolen motor vehicle and knew or should have reasonably known such. This includes retaining the vehicle for a period of greater than 24 hours, damage of the vehicle, the use of the vehicle in a crime other than a traffic offense, except for eluding, the purposeful act of altering a vehicle VIN, plate, or sticker, the concealment of the vehicle through physical alteration, and the use of license plates on the vehicle that are not belonging to that vehicle.

“For far too many years, auto theft was perceived as a victimless crime when the perceived value of a vehicle was low. In reality, it had a tremendous impact on the livelihoods of the vehicle owners and other community members when these vehicles were used to commit additional crimes,” stated Col. Mathew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “This law acknowledges every victim and will deter repeat offenders.”

With the passage of this legislation and other bills like SB23-257 that provides additional grant funding to law enforcement agencies, District Attorneys, prevention programs, intelligence systems, and victims’ resources. All contributing to the intense focus Colorado is placing on stopping motor vehicle theft.

“Overhauling the penalties associated with auto theft is an important part of changing Colorado’s auto theft landscape, but nothing can replace your role in protecting your vehicle,” explained Col. Packard.

What can you do? Keep taking the proper steps to secure your vehicle.

  • Lock your car and take your keys, every time. Establish those good routines of key management.
  • Keep your vehicle clean of incentivizing goodies like shopping bags, electronics, and tools.
  • Take additional measures if your vehicle is more than five years old, in an auto theft hot spot, or on the top ten most stolen list. Look into steering wheel locks, security/alarm systems, vehicle immobilizers, and environmental security factors.

Help law enforcement help you by making your vehicle a challenging target for thieves. Learn more about how to take these steps on

Colorado is moving towards stopping vehicle thefts in accordance with making Colorado one of the top ten safest states. The bright light of tomorrow is shining, and there is no place for car thieves in Colorado.


Since our origin in 1935, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) has focused on preserving human life and protecting property within our communities. Our 1,100 members embody the core values of Honor, Duty, and Respect in their daily jobs.  In addition to our expertise in motor vehicle safety on the state’s roadways, the CSP is responsible for the Governor and other dignitaries’ protection, commercial motor vehicle enforcement, hazardous materials, homeland security, communications, investigative services, criminal interdiction, community education, aviation operations, and more. For additional information, visit us online at Colorado State Patrol or follow us on TwitterInstagram, YouTube, or Facebook.

Attempted Catalytic Converter Theft Turns Violent

May 23rd, 2023

A man in Connecticut was assaulted when accidentally discovering two men likely intending to steal his catalytic converter. The victim was hit with a handgun before the assailants took his wallet and left. A stark reminder to never confront a catalytic converter thief. Full story Here.

Denver Gazette Highlights Auto Theft Reductions in Colorado

May 19th, 2023

The Denver Gazette follows up on the Q1 stats release from the Colorado State Patrol and the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority, an in depth interview and detailed look at the changing landscape of auto theft in Colorado. Read the full story Here.

CATPA Releases Q1 2023 Theft Stats

May 19th, 2023

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May 18, 2023


Colorado State Patrol Public Affairs Office


2023 Auto Theft Trending Down – But It’s Still Not Time to Relax

(COLORADO) – A sliver of blue sky seems to be appearing, in what has been a growing storm of negative auto theft news in Colorado. The first quarter of 2023 shows a significant decline, a whopping 22% decline in auto theft versus 2022. The Q1 numbers of auto theft occurrences resemble numbers from 2020. While Coloradans, the Insurance Industry and law enforcement are happy with the improvements, the Colorado State Patrol business unit CATPA (Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority) wants to remind everyone that this decline does not mean it is a good time to become relaxed about vehicle security, now or ever!

“The noticeable decline of auto theft is a testament to the resiliency of our citizens and the collaborative effort of many law enforcement and key partners across the State,” stated Matthew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “However, now is no time to rest and relax your vehicle securities. CATPA and the Colorado State Patrol ask you to continue to stay in this fight to reduce auto theft and overall crime in your communities.”

Auto theft is a catalyst crime that often sets off a chain reaction of other crimes. These often include burglaries, smash and grab robberies, reckless driving, eluding, drug crimes, weapons offenses and many times crimes against persons that endanger all of Colorado.

CATPA Stats release 5-18-23

CATPA and the Colorado State Patrol advise all citizens of the best way to combat vehicle theft through a dynamic approach to vehicle security beginning with the basics. Lock your car and take your keys – every time. This is simple, but vehicle owners and operators should practice this most basic vehicle security habitually. CATPA recommends establishing a “Lock and Key” routine that has all vehicle operators remove spare keys from the vehicle, including valet keys, then anytime the vehicle is not in use (including during quick trips inside convenience stores), to shut the vehicle off, take the keys out of the ignition and out of the car, then lock the car.

CATPA also advises additional security measures for owners of any vehicle on the Top Ten Most Stolen Car list, any vehicle in an Auto Theft Hot Spot, and any vehicle more than five years old. These additional security measures should consist of any combination of basic “Lock and Key” routine and: environmental changes (Parking the vulnerable vehicle in a garage or secured parking lot if possible), physical security hardening products like Steering Wheel Locks and Parking Boots, theft deterrent and immobilizing systems like kill switches, alarm systems and security systems that adhere to vehicle immobilizing standards (like the Canadian UL 338 standard). For vulnerable vehicles, CATPA has a limited supply of steering wheel locks for those unable to purchase one or for citizens already victimized by theft. Other resources like security software updates for Hyundai and Kia vehicles are another great step to take.

Colorado, continue your efforts to reduce your risk of becoming an auto theft victim and perform a self-risk assessment using tools available at A combination of public awareness and mindfulness is an essential partnership for reducing auto theft – and all crime, in Colorado.

Possible Relief for Recent Victims of Catalytic Converter Theft

March 29th, 2023

The Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority, in cooperation with the Colorado State Legislature, has authorized a financial aid program to assist persons who had catalytic converters stolen in Colorado from their vehicles for a limited time, called the Catalytic Converter Assistance Program. Under this legislation, eligible individuals may receive financial assistance toward the replacement of their stolen catalytic converter.


Colorado State Patrol and State Partners Provide Information on Targeted Vehicle Theft Prevention

March 9th, 2023

(COLORADO) – A recent analysis by the Colorado State Patrol (CSP), the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority (CATPA) and its partners the Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI) and the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has resulted in the necessary effort to alert consumers of targeted threats against certain motor vehicles.

Most of the vehicles are late model Kias and Hyundais, within the last decade of manufacture, that have traditional ignition systems that are started with a physical key. Criminals are not targeting Hyundais and Kias with touchless FOB ignition as much. Total theft of these makes has increased 82% from 2021 to 2022.

State Patrol and partners have seen an increase in vehicle thefts despite the vehicles meeting the US Market Security Standard for new automobiles. Some major auto insurance carriers are no longer writing new policies on these vehicles. The Colorado State Patrol, CATPA, DOI and DMV want to make Coloradans aware of target hardening options available to current owners of these vehicles – as well as businesses who buy or sell these vehicles.

Vehicle hardening methods are a way to improve vehicle security or deter vehicle theft through additional equipment implantation. Hyundai recently released an announcement that they are rolling out free anti-theft software for several of their targeted vehicles. This free upgrade by Hyundai service centers will include a marking decal to show updated security software on the vehicle. The 2017-20 Elantra, 2015-19 Sonata and 2020-21 Venue models are eligible for the upgrade currently, while other models will be eligible come June. However, the upgrade will not be compatible with all models. Owners of these vehicles wanting more information can contact Hyundai toll-free at 800-633-5151 or Kia at 800-333-4542. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also issued a news release with additional info regarding the update.

CATPA not only recommends this manufacturer update, but also asks owners of these targeted vehicles to consider additional vehicle hardening equipment. Vehicle theft is not only extremely costly to the owner, but to all of Colorado; stolen vehicles are often used in the commission of other crimes and this all leads to increasing insurance premiums. Auto theft hurts all Coloradans. Additional vehicle hardening equipment may come in the form of physical deterrent and theft prevention devices like steering wheel locks, parking boots and other physical vehicle feature limiting devices.

Other recommendations for heightened vehicle security equipment include the installation of aftermarket security systems that provide the physical deterrent features of car alarms and GPS tracking. The CATPA preference for most efficient vehicle hardening upgrade would be to engage a qualified repair facility for the addition of a vehicle immobilizing system. These systems are complex and create several layers of anti-theft security that greatly reduce the rate of vehicle theft, when used.

CO Theft Data – Hyundai and Kia info for the Calendar Year 2022 – Study Sources

Pie Graph 1. The Colorado Department of Revenue for motor vehicle registrations for Hyundai and Kia vehicles occurring from January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2022. Pie Graph 2. The Colorado Stolen Vehicle Database Repository for stolen vehicles reported to the Colorado Crime Information Center from January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2022.

Consumers with questions about their insurance can contact the Colorado Division of Insurance Consumer Services Team – 303-894-7490 / / (click on “File a Complaint”).

Denver Police Announce Stolen Vehicle Tracking Program

March 3rd, 2023

Denver – Friday, March 3, 2023 – Today, the Denver Police Department (DPD) announced a new program to combat auto thefts – DenverTrack. The DenverTrack program works with any vehicle with an installed tracking device, including factory-installed or after-market devices, and GPS and Bluetooth tracking devices to track stolen vehicles in real time.

The program requires vehicle owners to register for DenverTrack to preauthorize Denver Police access to the GPS location data only in the unfortunate event that their vehicle is stolen. If a registered vehicle is reported stolen, DPD will then confirm consent from the vehicle’s owner to access the vehicle tracking information in real time, with the goal of quickly locating and returning the vehicle to the owner and arresting the suspect(s).

“The Denver Police Department is committed to reducing auto thefts in Denver and recognizes the significant impact this particular crime has had on our residents and visitors,” said Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas. “In 2022, Denver Police officers arrested 1,484 suspects for auto theft, compared to the nearly 14,900 reported stolen vehicles in Denver, which is why having tracking information in real time is vital in retrieving stolen vehicles and holding offenders accountable.”

Vehicle owners can visit to register their vehicle and learn more about the program and additional auto theft prevention tips. Once the vehicle is registered online, DPD will mail DenverTrack stickers to owners to place on their vehicle’s windows to deter potential thieves from stealing their car. Two sticker designs are attached to this press release. Placing a sticker on the registered vehicle is encouraged, but not required. While the program is free to register, a fee from the manufacturer may incur if the GPS system is accessed.

From March 6 to March 10, vehicle owners may visit any DPD district station, between 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., where they will receive assistance in filling out the preauthorization form, thanks to Denver Police volunteers. In addition to receiving guidance with the form, drivers may also obtain a catalytic converter etching kit to deter catalytic converter thefts and license plate theft prevention screws – while supplies last.

DPD wishes to thank the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority for purchasing 10,000 DenverTrack stickers for participants, the Denver Sheriff’s Department for displaying DenverTrack posters in their facilities – alerting arrestees of the program, and RTD for ad space to help raise awareness of the DenverTrack program.


Our Mission: Preventing crime and increasing public trust while honoring the responsibilities granted to us by those we serve, with continued focus on partnerships, learning, and innovation.

Auto Theft is Up and Its Time to Protect Yourself

February 9th, 2023

CSP and CATPA Release 2022 Data

(COLORADO) – Vehicle theft has taken center stage in conversations for many Coloradoans this past year. With auto theft continuing to rise, the Colorado State Patrol and The Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority (CATPA) want to provide information and tools to help you protect your vehicle and help us lessen the rate of auto theft.

Preventing auto theft starts with the basics.

The best step you can take to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of auto theft is to lock your car and take your keys, every time. Failure to take this basic step is referred to as Owner Apathy, and according to National Insurance Crime Bureau’s latest report, thefts involving the keys left in the vehicle are up by 20% over the last few years.

Beyond this first step, CATPA always recommends you park your vehicle in a garage or secure parking area, if available to you. If your garage is too full for your vehicle, it’s time to clean it out and benefit from a secure place to store your vehicle. A locked car, in a secure garage drastically reduces your chances of motor vehicle theft.

When you don’t have access to secured parking whether at home, work or anywhere else, CATPA recommends taking extra security precautions to secure your vehicle. Devices such as a steering wheel lock, an aftermarket alarm system, or advanced measures like a vehicle kill switch or immobilizer are possible options. These features are particularly recommended for any vehicle over five years old, and especially for those models found on the Top Ten Most Stolen Cars list.

top 10 most stolen vehicles

If you are fortunate to have secure parking and live in a low crime area, auto theft should still be a concern for you! The victim of vehicle theft is not solely the owner.  In nearly all cases, stolen vehicles are used as the means to commit other serious and violent crimes including drug use or sales, other thefts, armed robberies, burglaries, assaults and homicides.

In addition to crimes and rising insurance rates across Colorado, auto thieves add to the dangerous driving landscape by notoriously driving recklessly. While committing this crime they display willful disregard to other motorists, pedestrians and laws, speeding excessively, running traffic lights, cutting other vehicles off, passing on the shoulders, and attempting to elude law enforcement.  In some instances, they crash causing injury to themselves and other uninvolved motorists.

By making your vehicle a more challenging target for theft, you can help us reduce this crime in Colorado. Please take your keys and always lock your vehicle to bring these numbers down and make Colorado a safer place. Learn about additional ways to prevent auto theft at

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