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 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 lockdownyourcar.org. A combination of public awareness and mindfulness is an essential partnership for reducing auto theft – and all crime, in Colorado.