Car thefts across Colorado rose in 2018 for the sixth consecutive year, and Colorado Springs placed second for the most thefts, averaging 49 a week, the Colorado Department of Public Safety reported.
The state had 21,324 stolen vehicles last year, a 9.4 percent increase from the previous year, reports the Colorado Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center.
While population growth accounts for some of last year’s increase, Colorado had a 7.4 percent per capita increase. Taking first place for the most car thefts was Denver.
The top 10 vehicles stolen in 2018 were the Honda Civic, Honda Accord, Ford F-250, Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150, Dodge RAM, Ford F-350, Subaru Legacy, GMC Sierra and Jeep Grand Cherokee.
About half stolen cars are left unlocked or running unattended, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said.
Coloradans Against Auto Theft, along with law enforcement and community partners, launched its summer initiative “to remind Coloradans about the importance of auto theft prevention,” a news release said. The “Lockdown Your Car” campaign coincides with National Auto Theft Prevention Month.
“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,” Detective Jennifer King-Sullivan of the Broomfield Police Department and president of Colorado Auto Theft Investigators, said in a news release.
Car theft can be the catalyst for other crimes, the release said.
“A domino effect can occur when a car is left unlocked or running unattended,” said State Patrol Chief Col. Matthew Packard. “A vast majority of car thieves in Colorado commit additional crimes such as armed robbery, home invasion, identify theft and drug related offenses.”
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