Auto Theft Down in Colorado in 2023

January 19th, 2024

January 19, 2024


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Colorado State Patrol Public Affairs Office              Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority                    
303-239-4583                                                          303-239-4560

Auto Theft Down Statewide in 2023

(COLORADO) – Halfway through 2023, the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority (CATPA) and the Colorado State Patrol saw a clear decline in auto theft incidents throughout the state. We are pleased to report that trend held throughout the whole year, with Colorado seeing a reduction in auto theft of approximately 21% from 2022 to 2023. This sizeable reduction is welcome news to the many Coloradoans affected by motor vehicle theft and the many associated crimes.

The noticeable decline in auto theft in 2023 resulted in 8,000 fewer stolen vehicles than in 2022. This reduction in vehicle theft comes on the heels of sustained increases in motor vehicle theft since 2019.

So, what has changed in Colorado that’s had such a dramatic effect on auto theft incidents? A lot and everything. Legislative changes such as SB23-097, which went into effect July 1, completely changed the structure of the auto theft statute in Colorado, and SB23-257, which increased program funding for auto theft prevention programs, to a community focus from local government, law enforcement, and every Coloradoan. The general focus on reducing auto theft has stemmed across Colorado and has taken root within local communities. Colorado has shown reductions statewide and regionally, as has every CATPA region.

While a reduction in auto theft is a welcome reprieve, it does not mean that Coloradoans are in the clear from being future auto theft victims. Auto theft incidents remain at a high level, and vehicle owners should not become complacent. CATPA and the Colorado State Patrol advise all citizens that the best way to combat vehicle theft is through a dynamic approach to vehicle security, beginning with the basics, like locking your doors every time.

Coloradoans should continue efforts to reduce their risk of becoming auto theft victims 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.


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.

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.


Colorado State Patrol
On-Call Public Information Officer:  303.239.4583

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.

Catalytic Converter Theft Related Arrest Made in Illinois

May 11th, 2023

As a signal to catalytic converter thieves across the nation, arrests and investigations continue to make national news. The latest of which is 600+ catalytic converters found on a  Cook County property result in an arrest for violation of metal recycling records law, metal recycling law, and possession of a stolen vehicle. Read the full article Here.

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