July is National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month

COLORADO (KRDO) — The Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority (CATPA), part of the Colorado State Patrol (CSP), says that vehicle thefts in Colorado are occurring at a higher rate than last year.

According to CSP, January through May 2022, shows an 18% increase from the numbers of 2021.

“The most recent data shows that over 3630 vehicles were stolen across Colorado in the month of May with metropolitan communities along the front range from Ft. Collins running south through Trinidad feeling the impact,” stated Col. Matthew C. Packard, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. 

While CSP has a 91% recovery rate, the department says recovering an often unrepairable car doesn’t lessen the impact on victims.

The CSP recovery rate is significantly higher than the national average of 50%.

With July being National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month, CATPA recommends doing the following to protect your car:

  • Use locks on vehicles 
    • This is a real deterrent to burglars looking for a quick steal. An unlocked door or open window (even a crack) is an invitation to burglars because they don’t need to break in. CSP says to not make it easier for a would-be thief to steal your car, leaving your car unlocked or a spare key in the vehicle does half the work for a thief.
  • Take away the cover of darkness
    • Park your car somewhere well-lit. Bright lights act as a strong burglar deterrent. If you park on your driveway, add strong sconce lights or flood lights to ensure your car is in clear view rather than in the shadows of darkness.
  • Never leave valuables in your car. 
    • When you look in the windows of your vehicle, it needs to be visibly empty. Burglars break in to get cash, computers, clothes, cellphone accessories, keys, or other things of value.
  • Have ‘eyes’ on your car while you sleep. 
    • If you park on your driveway or directly in front of your main door, consider adding an outdoor camera to your home, separately or with your doorbell. CSP recommends taking it a step further and placing a sign that says, “Smile Please, You’re on Camera”. No burglar wants to read a sign like that and comply.
  • Unclutter your garage and use it.
    • CSP suggests that if you are fortunate to have a garage, get your vehicle in there every night. You still want to lock your car doors in the garage and also lock garage doors. Thefts of vehicles within garages are dramatically reduced compared to vehicles outside of garages

CSP also wants people to be aware of the top locations where thefts take place. The first is at a vehicle owner’s residence or home. The second is a parking lot or garage (Such as at a public transportation hub, grocery store, or other places where your vehicle may remain unattended)

For more information, click here.