2022 COLORADO AUTO THEFT ANNUAL REPORT

January 28th, 2023

Download the FULL Report HERE

AUTO THEFT INTELLIGENCE COORDINATION CENTER (ATICC)
(U) Purpose: The Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center (ATICC) is a Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority (CATPA) funded initiative that serves the Colorado auto theft law enforcement community. ATICC provides information, intelligence, and analytical judgments on the occurrence of auto theft and its related crimes. The ATICC report includes observations of the crime of statewide motor vehicle theft, with a 5-year comparison, and CATPA regional area statistical data.

Disclaimer: Information contained in the Stolen Vehicle Database Repository (SVDR) is considered dynamic; modifications to records are made on a daily basis. Stolen vehicle records were screened for accuracy and normalized for standardization prior to use in this analysis. Data pulled for the analytical modeling occurred on 23 February 2023 for the ATICC annual reporting for aggregate theft and recovery data. Percentages are rounded to the nearest percent.

Key Findings

  • Colorado continued to be a leading state in the nation for auto thefts per capita and volume in 2022. (Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center; Stolen Vehicle Database Repository)
  • In 2022, there were 41,520 vehicles reported stolen to the Colorado Crime Information Center (CCIC), which is the reporting repository for criminal justice reporting utilized by law enforcement agencies in the state. In 2022, 4,371 more vehicles were stolen compared to 2021, accounting for a 12% increase. (Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center; Stolen Vehicle Database Repository)
  • The 41,520 vehicles stolen represents a $380,572,320 average dollar loss in 2022 using the FBI assessed latest average dollar loss per stolen vehicle in the United States at $9,166. (2020 economic data)
  • In the past five (5) years, the number of reported stolen vehicles has increased 98%. There were 20,946 vehicles stolen in 2018 and 41,520 vehicles stolen in 2022. (Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center; Stolen Vehicle Database Repository)
  • In the past five (5) years, the rate of reported stolen vehicles per capita has increased 93%. In 2018, there were 368 stolen vehicles per 100,000 residents compared to 711 stolen vehicles per 100,000 residents in 2022. (Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center; Stolen Vehicle Database Repository)
  • The pace of the percentage increase of reported stolen vehicles slowed over the past three (3) years. Motor vehicle theft experienced a 40% increase from 2019-2020, that rate dropped to a 31% increase from 2020-2021, and further to a 12% increase from 2021-2022. (Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center; Stolen Vehicle Database Repository)
  • In 2022, motor vehicle theft data demonstrates that 55% of reported stolen vehicles are recovered outside the municipality where the motor vehicle theft occurred, indicating the crime of motor vehicle theft is a multijurisdictional criminal event. (Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center; Stolen Vehicle Database Repository)
  • Colorado Courts, cases/dockets filed in 2022 indicate that 4,288 (76%) of the 5,610 cases/dockets filed involved other criminal charges related to the motor vehicle theft incident. (Colorado Courts 2022 MVT and Associated Offense Charge Data, 2022)
  • From the 5,610 cases/dockets filed, 1,322 (24%) contained the sole charge of motor vehicle theft. (Colorado Courts 2022 MVT and Associated Offense Charge Data, 2022)
  • According to the Colorado Courts data, 11% of cases/dockets filed contained violent crime charges associated to motor vehicle theft in 2022, per the definition of Colorado Revised Statute, “Crime of Violence”. (Colorado Courts 2022 MVT and Associated Offense Charge Data, 2022)
  • The charge of “F3, Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft w/Two Prior” convictions or adjudications occurred in 5% of the cases/dockets filed. (Colorado Courts 2022 MVT and Associated Offense Charge Data, 2022)
  • Catalytic converter thefts continued to be problematic in 2022. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), catalytic converter thefts have increased 1,215% nationally between 2019-2022. (National Insurance Crime Bureau, 2023)
  • In 2022, Chevrolet Silverado and Kia Sportage were the two (2) most stolen vehicles by volume in Colorado. (Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center; Stolen Vehicle Database Repository)
  • The “make” Hyundai and Kia vehicles accounted for 25% (10,318) of all reported motor vehicle thefts in the state. (Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center; Stolen Vehicle Database Repository)

Free CatETCH labels for Catalytic Converters

January 8th, 2023

The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority (CATPA) to combat catalytic converter theft and will be distributing free CatETCH labels to community members. The CatETCH labels each have a unique identifying number that can be applied to a catalytic converter by the vehicle owner or a mechanic. Catalytic converter labeling will allow identification of your catalytic converter in the event it is stolen and later recovered by law enforcement. The unique identification code is entered into a federal database.

Community members are required to complete a registration form, please follow this link (https://forms.office.com/g/2PJS2guCGQ), prior to picking up their kit. During the registration process we will be collecting the community members email address, zip code, vehicle year, vehicle make and model, license plate number, vehicle identification number, and resident’s city. Up to three vehicles can be registered at a time.

After completing the registration process community members will schedule a time and location (from the list below) to pick up their CatETCH kits:

Boulder County Sheriff’s Office Headquarters
5600 Flatiron Parkway, Boulder, CO

Town of Superior Sheriff’s Office Substation
405 Center Drive, Unit F, Superior, CO

Town of Lyons Sheriff’s Office Substation
430 5th Ave, Lyons, CO 80540

The businesses below are willing to install apply the CatETCH kits during a scheduled maintenance for your vehicle. Please contact them directly for specific information, including any associated costs. It is likely your own auto mechanic may be willing to install these kits as well.

Brakes Plus, Superior
90 McCaslin Boulevard, Superior, CO
(720) 304-3343

1040 5th Avenue, Lyons, 80540
303-823-0516

403 Broadway, Lyons, CO
303-823-6760

505 West Main Street, Lyons, CO
303-823-0106

If you have specific questions about this program, you can send an email to
sheriffcattheftkit@bouldercounty.org

Auto Theft and Car Crimes Soar in NE Denver

October 1st, 2022

“Over the past three years, the rates of car crimes committed in Denver have skyrocketed and include vandalism, catalytic converter removal, gasoline siphoning, and vehicle theft. Although these problems are impacting the entire city, car crimes have been especially prevalent in Northeast Denver neighborhoods.

FBI data compiled by the Common Sense Institute, a non-partisan research group, demonstrates that Colorado has the highest per capita car theft rates in the nation and that Denver has the second highest rates of any city (just behind Bakersville, California). The auto theft rates in Denver have been rising substantially since 2019, and Denver Police Department data shows that the rates have increased by another 80-percent in 2022.”

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE: https://frontporchne.com/article/auto-theft-and-car-crimes-soar-in-ne-denver/

Year-to-Date Colorado Car Thefts Outpacing 2021

June 10th, 2022

Following the unfortunate record high Motor Vehicle Thefts reported in Colorado during 2021, Colorado continues to exceed the number of vehicles stolen each month when compared to the previous year. The most recent numbers available, January through May 2022, show an 18% increase this year to date from the record-setting numbers of 2021.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE: https://csp.colorado.gov/press-release/year-to-date-colorado-car-thefts-outpacing-2021

July: National Auto Theft Prevention Month; Auto Theft Rises in Colorado for 6th Consecutive Year

July 9th, 2019

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Annie Coghill, 303-547-6692
Carole Walker, Coloradans Against Auto Theft Chair, 303-790-0216
Twitter: @StopAutoTheftCO
Facebook: @ColoradansAgainstAutoTheft

Coloradans Against Auto Theft, Law Enforcement & Community Partners Promote Common Sense Tips to Help Prevent Auto Theft

Denver, Colo. (July 9, 2019) — Coloradans Against Auto Theft (CAAT), along with law enforcement and community partners, today launched their annual statewide summer awareness campaign to remind Coloradans about the importance of auto theft prevention. The “Lockdown Your Car” campaign coincides with National Auto Theft Prevention Month to educate drivers about common sense steps to deter auto theft in Colorado.
According to the Colorado Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center (ATICC), since 2012 the state’s auto theft problem has continued to escalate. In 2018, auto theft increased 9.4 percent over 2017, and was up 18 percent over 2016. In total, 21,324 vehicles were stolen in Colorado last year; an average of 410 stolen vehicles per week; 58 stolen vehicles per day. View the 2018 ATICC annual report here.
While auto theft is a year-round problem in Colorado, there are seasonal behaviors that can open drivers up to dangerous consequences. “Auto theft is a crime of opportunity; thieves are always on the lookout for the easy steals,” says Carole Walker, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association and CAAT chair. “Thieves know that when the weather heats up, drivers are more likely to leave cars open or windows down when parked outside, or even leave cars running unattended with the air conditioning going. National Auto Theft Prevention Month is the perfect time to remind Colorado drivers to ‘Lockdown Your Car.’”

What Contributes to the Rise in Auto Theft in Colorado?

A number of factors contribute to the increase in auto theft including the state’s population growth. On average, Colorado has observed a population growth of over 79,500 people per year for the past five years. Per capita, Colorado experienced a 7.4 percent increase in auto theft last year.

Auto theft fuels crime sprees and contributes to the overall rise in Colorado’s crime rate. “A domino effect can occur when a car is left unlocked or running unattended,” says Colonel Matthew Packard, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “A vast majority of car thieves in Colorado commit additional crimes such as armed robbery, home invasion, identify theft and drug-related offenses. The Colorado State Patrol is dedicated to safety on our roads and in our communities, and that includes empowering drivers to take necessary precautions to secure their vehicles from theft.”


Why is Auto Theft Prevention Education Important?

Nearly half of all auto theft is due to driver error, leaving keys in the car or leaving a car running unattended (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration). A statewide Colorado poll conducted by Drake Research & Strategy (January 2019) on behalf of CAAT revealed that while people may understand the seriousness of auto theft in Colorado, they still tend to leave themselves open to risk.

“Common sense prevention goes a long way in helping to deter a thief from stealing your car, potentially committing other crimes in the process, and causing harm in the community,” adds Detective Jennifer King-Sullivan, president of Colorado Auto Theft Investigators. “We’re working to help create safer communities by improving awareness of risky behaviors that often have dangerous consequences.”

Auto Theft Prevention Tips:

• Lock your doors every single time – it’s the number one thing you can do to protect property

• Remember to roll up windows all the way

• Never leave your car running unattended

• Take your keys with you – don’t keep a spare set of keys in your vehicle

• Always park in well-lit areas

• Put gifts and all valuables in the trunk hidden from view

• Buy comprehensive insurance that covers stolen vehicles

• Report suspicious activities to a non-emergency police line


CAAT’s Summer “Lockdown Your Car” Campaign Highlights

Public Awareness: CAAT’s public awareness campaign, supported by grant funding through the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority, includes traditional advertising with TV spots, social media and community events to remind drivers not to make themselves an easy target for car thieves. See the TV spot here.

Social Media: The Summer “Lockdown Your Car” social media campaign reveals what thieves see within everyday settings: opportunity. The design co-opts signs from fictional businesses and landmarks to show how easily thieves exploit unsuspecting drivers who effectively broadcast the vulnerable security of their vehicles. Follow the campaign on CAAT’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Community Events: To engage with Coloradans on important community safety issues, CAAT’s coalition partners will be taking part in events around the state including National Night Out (NNO) on August 6. This annual event is a community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and creates connections that help make neighborhoods safer. Commander Mike Greenwell, Lakewood Police Department and CATPA Metropolitan Auto Theft Team (CMATT) explains, “It’s a great way to connect, to answer questions and try to help people with any problems they may have. We want to show people how to help continue to make our community a safe, comfortable place to be.”

Snapshot of activities:

On July 25, Commerce City will host its 2nd Annual Police & Fire Open House at the Commerce City Civic Center. Residents can enjoy free food and entertainment, explore police and fire equipment and vehicles, tour the stations, meet the officers and sign up to host a NNO block party. Event hours are 4:00-8:00 p.m.

Members of the Lakewood Police Department will be out in full force on August 6, stopping by NNO gatherings taking place within the community. About 50 neighborhoods in Lakewood will have block parties for residents to get to know each other better and to connect with law enforcement on important community safety topics, including auto theft prevention awareness.

The Pueblo Police Department will host its annual “Neighborhood Safety Night” at the Riverwalk in Pueblo. The August 6 event runs from 4:00-8:00 p.m. with a focus on safety, community resources and crime prevention. Residents can try to “dunk” the Chief and command staff and enjoy music, backyard style games, BBQ, snow cones, Riverwalk boat rides, first responder vehicle display, giveaways and numerous community resource booths.

Visit NNO’s website or Facebook page for general NNO information.


Highlights from ATICC 2018 Report

Top Ten Stolen Vehicles in 2018:

1. Honda Civic

2. Honda Accord

3. Ford F-250

4. Chevrolet Silverado

5. Ford F-150

6. Dodge RAM

7. Ford F-350

8. Subaru Legacy

9. GMC Sierra

10. Jeep Grand Cherokee


Top Five Colorado Cities for Auto Theft in 2018:

1. Denver

2. Colorado Springs

3. Aurora

4. Pueblo

5. Lakewood

CAAT, CATI and CMATT are funded by the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority (CATPA), a statutory grant program that supports law enforcement, prevention and training programs through the collection of $1.00 for every insured vehicle. For more information about auto theft in Colorado, visit www.lockdownyourcar.org and the “Lockdown Your Car” Facebook and Twitter pages.


CAAT Coalition Partners

Colorado auto theft task forces, made up of regional law enforcement agencies, Colorado State Patrol and other motor vehicle safety and insurance partners, are a part of CAAT’s coalition to decrease auto theft during this peak season.

• CATPA Metropolitan Auto Theft Team (CMATT)

• Beat Auto Theft Through Law Enforcement (BATTLE)

• Colorado Attorney General’s Auto Theft Prosecution Initiative

• Colorado Auto Theft Investigators (CATI)

• Colorado Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center (ATICC)


About Coloradans Against Auto Theft (CAAT):

CAAT is a statewide auto theft prevention initiative to raise awareness about the problem and educate the public on what they can do to reduce their chances of falling victim to auto theft. CAAT is part of a coalition of law enforcement agencies, including the Colorado State Patrol, the Colorado Auto Theft Investigators (CATI), insurance partners, LoJack and AAA Colorado. In 2018, Coloradans Against Auto Theft (CAAT) was honored with the Leadership in the Prevention of Vehicle Crimes Award for successful efforts in combatting auto theft through public awareness and prevention education by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). CAAT and the state auto theft task force efforts are funded in part by the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority (CATPA).


About Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority (CATPA):

CATPA is a state authority that was established by Colorado statute in 2003 to help reduce Colorado’s serious auto theft problem through the award of grant funds. The Colorado law helps ensure that auto theft prevention efforts are targeted. These efforts have resulted in an increase in stolen vehicle recoveries and criminal prosecutions of major organized criminal groups, as well as related crimes.

###

Auto theft footage provided by local law enforcement can be accessed at the below links:

  1. Aurora Auto Theft: Surveillance video captures two vehicles approaching a car parked on the street. One person gets out, enters the vehicle, is able to start the car and drive away while the other cars wait.
  2. Aurora Auto Theft – April: Home surveillance captures someone walking down a residential street, entering a vehicle, then driving away.
  3. Pueblo Door Handle Checking: Home surveillance camera captures someone checking door handles of a car parked on a residential street.

Law Enforcement & Community Partners Join Forces for Colorado Puffer Week

January 22nd, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Krista Silano, 303-832-2700 ext. 211
Carole Walker, Coloradans Against Auto Theft Chair, 303-790-0216
Twitter: @StopAutoTheftCO
Facebook: @ColoradansAgainstAutoTheft

Law Enforcement & Community Partners Join Forces for Colorado Puffer Week
Statewide “Puffer Week” Campaign Reminds Coloradans that Cars Left Running Unattended are an Easy Steal

Denver, Colo. (Jan. 22, 2017) — Coloradans Against Auto Theft (CAAT), along with Colorado Auto Theft Investigators (CATI), today launched their annual statewide educational and enforcement campaign, known as “Puffer Week.” The campaign runs today through Sunday, January 28 and informs the public about the illegality, risks and consequences of “puffer cars” – or cars left running unattended. Puffer cars contribute to Colorado’s growing auto theft problem, and they are often involved in subsequent crimes, such as armed robbery, home invasion and drug-related offenses.
“Puffer Week aims to remind drivers that the consequences of puffing their car can go beyond getting in trouble with the law or having their car stolen,” says Carole Walker, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association and CAAT chair. “Ninety-seven percent of car thieves charged with auto theft are also charged with additional crimes. The campaign drives home the point that the simple act of leaving your car running unattended can result in a domino effect that contributes to the rise in Colorado’s crime rate and puts the community at risk.”
The Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center (ATICC) reports that 18,047 vehicles were stolen in Colorado in 2016, up more than 20 percent from 2015. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 40 to 50 percent of vehicle theft is due to driver error, which includes leaving vehicle doors unlocked and leaving keys in the ignition or on the seats. While auto thefts can happen anywhere and at any time, they spike in the winter when people are more likely to puff their car to warm it up, and thieves look for the tell-tale puff of the exhaust on a cold day.
Puffing your car – or leaving it running unattended – is illegal in Colorado*. During Puffer Week, law enforcement increases warnings and citations to those caught puffing their cars, with the first offense costing guilty parties a $60 fine. This week, law enforcement and CAAT partners will put a focus on educating communities throughout Colorado on how to prevent auto theft by distributing informational flyers and Lockdownyourcar.org branded ice scrapers, as well as leveraging social media to share important messages and tips. More, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will display auto theft and puffer car awareness messages on Variable Message Signs (VMS) placed in urban areas throughout the state.
“Last year during Puffer Week, law enforcement gave out over 350 warnings and citations to Colorado drivers caught leaving their cars running unattended, but we know that many offenders got away with it,” says Bill Johnson, President of the Colorado Auto Theft Investigators. “Our hope is that this year’s public awareness campaign will encourage car owners to do their part in taking the necessary steps to prevent their own cars from being stolen and used to commit other crimes.”
Puffer Week Highlights
    
To demonstrate why puffer cars are attractive to car thieves, CAAT created “Thiever,” a fake mobile app for car thieves to scope out their next steal. Modeled after popular dating apps, Thiever is comprised of profiles of the top stolen cars in Colorado, encouraging thieves to “swipe right,” or steal the car. The profiles range from static images to animations that show a gloved thief swiping through the posts. They include messages that imitate dating profiles and describe a puffer car, such as “if it’s cold, I’m puffing. So you can come-a-knockin’,” and “your mother will love me. Especially if she’s a car thief.” Each profile will be shared on CAAT’s Facebook and Twitter pages this week with an accompanying fact about auto theft.
Media ride-alongs available upon request.
For Puffer Week ride-along opportunities, please contact your local law enforcement or Colorado State Patrol PIOs, or Krista Silano on behalf of Coloradans Against Auto Theft at 303-832-2700 ext. 211 or krista@ameliecompany.com.
Winter Public Awareness Campaign
 .   
CAAT’s winter public awareness campaign, which runs through March, features high-profile TV spots; billboards; bus, print, digital radio and digital video advertisements and social media posts that portray how car theft can lead to additional crimes. The ads ask viewers, “If you knew where auto theft ended, would you start locking your car?” View the “Lockdown Your Car” TV spot here.
How Can You Avoid Auto Theft?

  • Never leave your car running unattended.
  • Lock your doors every single time.
  • Always park in well-lit areas.
  • Don’t keep a spare set of keys in the car.
  • Put gifts and all valuables in the trunk or keep hidden from view.
  • Buy comprehensive insurance that covers stolen vehicles.
  • Report suspicious activity to a non-emergency police line.
  • Use our Hot Spot map to see if there have been auto thefts where you live or work.
  • Follow the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) “Layered Approach” to Protection.
  • Find out what the top stolen vehicles in your region are here.

Both CATI and CAAT are funded by the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority (CATPA), a statutory grant program that supports law enforcement, prevention and training programs through the collection of $1.00 for every insured vehicle.
For more information about auto theft in Colorado, visit www.lockdownyourcar.org and the “Lockdown Your Car” Facebook and Twitter pages.
*A Colorado law that went into effect in August 2016 exempts vehicles with a remote-start from being ticketed if found running unattended. However, drivers must keep the keyless start fob far enough away from the car that the vehicle can’t be moved.
CAAT Coalition Partners
Colorado auto theft task forces, made up of regional law enforcement agencies, Colorado State Patrol and other motor vehicle safety and insurance partners, are a part of the CAAT coalition to decrease auto theft during this peak auto theft season.

  • CATPA Metropolitan Auto Theft Team (CMATT)
  • Beat Auto Theft Through Law Enforcement (BATTLE)
  • Colorado Attorney General’s Auto Theft Prosecution Initiative
  • Colorado Auto Theft Investigators (CATI)
  • Colorado Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center (ATICC)

About Coloradans Against Auto Theft (CAAT):
CAAT is a statewide auto theft prevention initiative to raise awareness about the problem and educate the public on what they can do to reduce their chances of falling victim to auto theft. CAAT is a coalition of law enforcement agencies, the Colorado State Patrol, the Colorado Auto Theft Investigators (CATI), insurance partners, LoJack and AAA Colorado. CAAT and the state auto theft task force efforts are funded in part by the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority (CATPA).
About Colorado Auto Theft Investigators (CATI):
CATI is a non-profit association of public, law enforcement and insurance industry investigators concerned with the prevention and investigation of motor vehicle thefts and kindred crimes; to promote the exchange of investigative information; and to create a forum for better communication among investigators in Colorado, the Rocky Mountain Region, and the Nation.
About Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority (CATPA):
CATPA is a state authority that was established by Colorado statute in 2003 to help reduce Colorado’s serious auto theft problem through the award of grant funds. The Colorado law helps ensure that auto theft prevention efforts are targeted. These efforts have resulted in an increase in stolen vehicle recoveries and criminal prosecutions of major organized criminal groups, as well as related crimes.

###

2016 Puffer Week Combines Education and Enforcement to Combat Auto Theft

January 22nd, 2016

2016 Puffer Week Combines Education and Enforcement to Combat Auto Theft
New Auto Theft Poll: Majority of Coloradans agree leaving cars running unattended is a top way cars get stolen, but 34% admit to leaving their car puffing even though it’s dangerous and illegal.

Denver, Colo. (Jan. 24, 2016) — Coloradans Against Auto Theft (CAAT), in partnership with Colorado Auto Theft Investigators (CATI), unite for 2016’s “Puffer Week,” held Jan. 24-30. The statewide educational and enforcement week aims to inform the public about the risks, dangers and most recently, heightened crime associated with auto theft, specifically “puffer cars” – vehicles left running unattended with the telltale puff of the exhaust. Auto theft is often the first step in committing other, more serious crimes. Recent headlines tell a harrowing tale for Colorado:

  •       “Gunshots fired after puffer car confrontation” (Denver Post)
  •      “Denver ‘puffer’ has both cars stolen in a single day after leaving them unattended” (7 News)
  •       “Car theft suspect recaptured after fighting his way out of Colorado Springs police vehicle” (Colorado Springs Gazette)

“Leaving your car running unattended is not only dangerous, it’s illegal,” says Colonel Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “That’s why law enforcement and our community safety partners are joining forces this week to send an important message to Colorado drivers. Once a puffer car is stolen, the thief rarely stops there. We’ve seen both a rise in auto theft and the serious, violent crimes associated with it.”

Results from a new statewide CAAT poll being released in conjunction with Colorado’s Puffer Week show a growing percentage of Coloradans are getting the message and say they “NEVER” leave their cars puffing—66% compared to 60% in 2011 and 65% in 2014. However, 34% of Colorado drivers admit they have left their car running unattended. As to whether Coloradans are aware that it is illegal (C.R.S. 42-4-1206), 28% said they didn’t know and another 8% responded that it is not illegal to leave your car puffing. (Source: Talmey-Drake Research & Strategy, Inc.) Seventy percent of respondents consider auto theft a problem or a major problem. Full survey results here.

“Most drivers still have an ‘It will never happen to me mentality’, despite survey results that show 48% of Coloradans know someone who has had their car stolen,” says Carole Walker, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association and CAAT chair. “It’s this disconnect, and the escalation in the severity of auto theft-related crimes that drive our education efforts.”

During Puffer Week law enforcement increases warnings and citations to those caught leaving their cars running unattended. Educational efforts include community distribution of CAAT informational flyers and LockdownYourCar.org ice scrapers, along with partners leveraging social media using #puffercars and driving citizens to the Lockdown website, where they can access auto theft prevention materials and tips (see list of planned activities below). www.LockDownYourCar.org features a hot spot map with a geo-locator tool, allowing users to search auto theft in their area – incentivizing the public to be auto theft aware.

“To successfully combat auto theft, we need the public to work hand-in-hand with law enforcement,” says Detective Greg Malsam, of the Longmont Police Department and President of CATI. “The long-standing partnership between Colorado Auto Theft Investigators and CAAT drives this collaboration, combining strategic law enforcement efforts with community-driven awareness by mobilizing the public to do their part in auto theft prevention.”

Both CATI and CAAT are funded by the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority (CATPA) a statutory grant program that supports law enforcement, prevention and training programs through the collection of $1.00 for every insured vehicle.

Snapshot of “Puffer Week” Activities:
CATPA Metropolitan Auto Theft Team (CMATT)
Educational materials will be available to citizens. CMATT will also be conducting puffer enforcement, by means of warnings and citing violations, throughout the area.
Englewood Police Department
The Englewood Police Department will be conducting an educational activity every day of Puffer Week at various locations, including coffee shops, grocery stores and other public sites. The Englewood Police Department will also be conducting puffer enforcement throughout the area.
Aurora Police Department
The Aurora Police Department will be conducting an educational and enforcement operation on Tuesday, January 26. Aurora Police Department will also be running a social media campaign, including a “Tweet along” to encourage engagement during the week.
Beat Auto Theft Through Law Enforcement (BATTLE)
Educational materials will be available to citizens. BATTLE patrol officers will be on the lookout for puffer cars and will speak to individuals about the consequences of leaving their car running unattended.
Pueblo Police Department
Educational materials will be available to citizens. Volunteers will be on the lookout for puffer cars and will speak to individuals about the consequences of leaving their car running unattended.
Jefferson County Police Department
Educational materials will be available to citizens. Jefferson County Police Department will also be running a social campaign to remind the public to never leave their cars running unattended.
Lakewood Police Department
Educational materials will be available to citizens. Volunteers will be on the lookout for puffer cars and will speak to individuals about the consequences of leaving their car running unattended.
What can the public do?

  • Never leave your car running unattended.
  • Always lock your car.
  • Never leave any keys in the car, even a spare set.
  • Never leave valuables in plain sight.
  • Always park in well-lit, high-traffic areas.
  • Get windows, doors and fenders etched with the VIN.
  • Consider installing a tracking and recovery device.
  • Check out www.lockdownyourcar.org for more prevention tips, local statistics and a Hot Spot map with geo-locator tool allowing users to search auto theft in their area.

Media ride-alongs available upon request.
For ride-along opportunities, please contact your local law enforcement or Colorado State Patrol PIOs or Holly Franklin on behalf of Coloradans Against Auto Theft at 303-832-2700 ext. 221.
CAAT’s winter public awareness campaign features high-profile TV spots, digital radio, pre-roll, social media and earned media to drive home that message that it is never a good time to have your car stolen – whether it’s before the big dog show or your first prom.
CAAT Coalition Partners
Colorado auto theft task forces, made up of regional law enforcement agencies, Colorado State Patrol and other motor vehicle safety and insurance partners, are a part of the CAAT coalition to decrease auto theft during this peak auto theft season.

  • CATPA Metropolitan Auto Theft Team (CMATT)
  • Beat Auto Theft Through Law Enforcement (BATTLE)
  • Colorado Attorney General’s Auto Theft Prosecution Initiative
  • Colorado Auto Theft Investigators (CATI)
  • Colorado Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center (ATICC)

About Coloradans Against Auto Theft (CAAT):
Coloradans Against Auto Theft (CAAT) is a statewide auto theft prevention initiative to raise awareness about the problem and educate the public on what they can do to reduce their chances of falling victim to auto theft. CAAT is a coalition of law enforcement agencies, the Colorado State Patrol, insurance partners, LoJack and AAA Colorado. CAAT and the state auto theft task force efforts are funded in part by the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority (CATPA).

###

Translate »