Denver car thefts are up a whopping 145% this year over the same period last year.
From January 1 to March 15, about 2,345 vehicles were reported stolen in Denver, police said in a press release on Thursday. That number compares to 956 stolen over the same period last year.
“Not only does car theft deprive our neighbors of critical transportation for work, school and other family needs, many stolen vehicles are used for the commission of other crimes,” said Chief Paul Pazen in the press release. “To address this problem, which is affecting our community, we are working to raise awareness and encourage residents to work with us to prevent car theft as much as possible.”
Officials are conducting “high visibility patrols” to curb theft, the police said.
Police have recovered 97% of the stolen vehicles since the beginning of the year, but many are damaged, the press release said.
Vehicle owners can take the following steps to deter car thieves:
- Lock doors and open windows
- Remove keys, tags and valet keys
- If possible, park in secure garages
- Do not leave a vehicle unattended (puffing)
- Use anti-theft devices such as a car alarm or steering wheel lock
- Report suspicious behavior around the vehicle to the police
So far this year, the Chevrolet Silverado pickup has been stolen more than any other vehicle in Denver, police said. The following vehicles from No. 2 to 10 round off the list so far this year: Kia Optima; Honda Accord; Hyundai Sonata; Ford F250; Honda Civic; GMC Sierra; Chevrolet Tahoe; Hyundai Tucson; Hyundai Elantra.