CARELESS
CAN LEAVE YOU
CARLESS

Auto theft affects the entire community. It is often just the first in a series of crimes, as 73% of adult car thieves are charged with additional offenses such as drug crimes, armed robbery, home invasion and identity theft.

Never leave your car running unattended.
Always keep your car doors locked, when driving or parked.
Always park in well-lit areas.
Don’t store firearms in your car.
Avoid leaving documents with your address in glove box. (Only keep the half of the registration slip without your address in your car.)
Don’t keep a spare set of keys in the car.
Keep all valuables in the trunk or hidden from view.
If you are approached, do not roll down the windows or open a door.
When buying a used vehicle, always check the VIN to ensure it hasn’t been stolen. Visit NICB for more information.
Manage your risk- buy comprehensive insurance that covers stolen vehicles. Also consider getting gap insurance.

*NEVER APPROACH OR CONFRONT A PERSON ATTEMPTING TO STEAL YOUR VEHICLE!

They may be…
VIOLENT
A LOOKOUT
UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS
ARMED WITH A WEAPON

Call 911 immediately and report the ongoing crime, and include important details like:

  • License plate #
  • VIN
  • Direction of Travel
  • Any distinguishable features of the vehicle like bumper stickers, existing damage, etc.
where to find my VIN

How to Avoid Truck and Trailer Theft?

Lock your truck and take your keys. Always.
Use trailer tongue locks that have additional security features above normal padlocks.
When not in use, if possible store your trailer in a secure area such as a fenced yard. Use tongue locks even when behind fences. If you live in a theft hot spot consider other trailer immobilizing devices.

All About Owner Apathy and Puffer Cars

“Owner Apathy” or “Driver Apathy” is an action that makes a vehicle more susceptible or vulnerable to theft.  Actions that contribute to Owner Apathy include leaving a vehicle unlocked, leaving an additional key in the vehicle, and additional physical security  compromises that may create ease of entry or ease of ignition override. An additional aspect of Owner Apathy is “Puffing” or leaving a vehicle running unattended, known as, “puffing”.  The exhaust vapors that come out of a running vehicle’s tailpipe in cold weather signals an easy steal to a thief, a puff of exhaust.

In Colorado, it’s illegal to leave your car running unattended unless you have a remote starter system in your vehicle and your keyless fob is far enough away that the car cannot be moved. Remember to keep the keyless fob in a safe place so the wrong hands can’t get to it.

Purchase a remote start from the original manufacturer or a proven after-market source, but make sure the doors are locked and the start fob is in a safe place.

Warm-up with your car: grab a hot drink, gloves and a blanket. Most cars don’t need to idle for more than 1-2 minutes.

Park in an enclosed garage whenever possible.

ARE YOU BUYING A
STOLEN CAR?

When buying a used car, do you know where it came from? Are you comfortable with the dealership or person you are purchasing the car through?

Below is a list of resources to help you determine the status of the vehicle you are about to purchase.

CHECK THE VIN (VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER)

Colorado State Patrol LogoHave the seller complete a VIN Inspection or VIN Certification before buying a vehicle. Colorado State Patrol offers VIN Inspections.

Colorado Bureau of Investigation Logo

Check the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) before considering to purchase, to see if the vehicle is a stolen vehicle in Colorado.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Logo

Check the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to see if it matches the year, make, model and style of the vehicle

Make sure the vehicle of interest does not have current liens or other red flag issues

National Motor Vehicle Title Information System

Verify the vehicle’s history of titling, crash incidence, stolen status, etc

Car Fax logo

Consult Kelly Blue Book can for the true value of the vehicle of interest

Kelly Blue Book Logo

Find out what forms are needed for the purchase, sale, title & registration

Colorado Department of Revenue Logo

If you need additional help, please contact the Colorado Automobile Theft Prevention Authority for any questions or concerns regarding the purchase or theft status of your vehicle. You can reach us at (303) 239-4560 or at cdps_catpa@state.co.us.

Additional Resources

Information about crime in Colorado

colorado crime statistics link

Information about crime in the US

FBI Crime Data Explorer

Information about vehicle theft in the US

National Insurance Crime Bureau Logo

Assistance and information regarding vehicle theft in Colorado

Colorado Auto Theft Investigators Logo and Link

Information about vehicle theft and crimes internationally.

International Association of Auto Theft investigators Logo and Link

Lost, Stolen or Compromised Documents?

Colorado Department of Revenue - Department of Motor Vehicles Logo and Link

Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association

Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association Logo and Link

Toolkits
for Law Enforcement Agencies

IACP
Toolkit
DOWNLOAD

IAATI
Toolkit
DOWNLOAD

CATPA
Toolkit
DOWNLOAD

CATPA Grantees’ Projects:

  • The Attorney General’s Office (AG’s Office)
  • Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center (ATICC)
  • Beat Auto Theft Through Law Enforcement (BATTLE)
  • Colorado Auto Theft Investigators (CATI)
  • CATPA-Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force (C-MATT)

Contact CATPA to learn more about any of these initiatives