Denver auto thefts up 145% this year with more than 2,300 stolen

Automobile thefts are up in Denver this year, over the same time period as last year, by a whopping 145%.

From Jan. 1 to March 15, about 2,345 vehicles were reported stolen in Denver, police said in a Thursday news release. That number compares to 956 stolen last year during the same time frame.

“Auto theft not only deprives our neighbors of critical transportation for work, school, and other family needs, many stolen vehicles are used in the commission of additional felony crimes,” said Chief Paul Pazen, in the release. “To help address this issue impacting our community, we are working to raise awareness and encourage residents to partner with us in preventing auto theft to the greatest extent possible.”

Officers are carrying out “high visibility patrols” in an attempted to curtail thefts, police said.

Police have recovered 97% of the stolen vehicles, year-to-date, but many are damaged, the release said.

Vehicle owners can take the following steps to deter auto thieves:

  • Lock doors and roll up windows
  • Remove keys, fobs, and valet keys
  • Park in secure garages when possible
  • Don’t leave a vehicle running unattended (puffing)
  • Use anti-theft devices, such as a car alarm or steering wheel lock
  • Report suspicious behavior around vehicle to police

So far this year, the Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck has been stolen more than any other vehicle in Denver, police said. The following vehicles, from Nos. 2 to 10, round out the top of the list so far this year: Kia Optima; Honda Accord; Hyundai Sonata; Ford F250; Honda Civic; GMC Sierra; Chevrolet Tahoe; Hyundai Tucson; Hyundai Elantra.

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