Auto Theft Prevention Tips

Auto theft affects the entire community. It is often just the first in a series of crimes, as 74% of adult car thieves are charged with additional offenses such as drug crimes, armed robbery, home invasion and identity theft.

Keep you and your community safe with the following tips.

Running car

Never leave your car running unattended.

Unlocked car

Always keep your car doors locked, when driving or parked.

A well-lit area via streetlamp

Always park in well-lit areas.

Floor mat with keys under it

Don’t keep a spare set of keys in the car.

Car trunk

Keep all valuables in the trunk or hidden from view.

Insurance phone support

Buy comprehensive insurance that covers stolen vehicles.

"No firearms" sign

Don’t store firearms in your car.

Document with an address on it

Avoid leaving documents with your address in glove box.

(Only keep the half of the registration slip without your address in your car.)

Thief approaching a car

If you are approached, do not roll down the windows or open a door.

car VIN

When buying a used
vehicle, always check
the VIN to ensure it has
not been stolen. Visit
NICB for more information.

All About Puffer Cars

A “puffer” is a car left running unattended. The exhaust vapors that come out of a running vehicle’s tailpipe in cold weather signals an easy steal to a thief.

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.

Want more information? Click below to read the specifics of the law.

Get the Law

Tips To Avoid Puffing

Power button

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.

Auto Theft Victim Tips

If your car is stolen, follow these steps.


Phone with 911 on it


Contact Law Enforcement or Call 911. Keep your assigned case number on-hand to share with your insurance provider.

List of property


Make a List of Property Stolen.

Insurance phone support


Call Your Insurance Provider to Make a Claim.

Next Steps

Now that you’ve alerted law enforcement and your insurance provider, here’s what to watch for in the next few days and weeks.

Magnifying glass over a thumbprint
Identity Theft

You may have had items in your car that included your address or personal information. In the future, make sure to look around your car every time you get out and take them with you.

Home icon
Home Burglary

Did you leave your garage door opener in your car? A spare set of keys? If a thief found these, your car registration, or your insurance information, they have your address and a way into your home.