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Do you know about the $1 insurance fee to prevent auto theft? - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Do you know about the $1 insurance fee to prevent auto theft?

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Auto insurance in Colorado is expensive, but one of the smaller fees you'll find on your bill is to protect your vehicle from thieves. A $1 charge brings in about $4.5 million annually to the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority.

It's a fee a lot of people don't know about, but Colorado is seeing a slight jump in auto thefts from previous years so that fee may be more important than ever before.

"This dollar really helps make our community safer," said Carole Walker from the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Center.

That dollar fee can be found on your insurance bill and it became law in 2008. The fee provides $4.5 million annually to the CATPA.

"What that authority is really is an investment of those insurance dollars into trying to combat auto theft," said Walker.

The money goes to three places: 

  • Coloradans Against Auto Theft to produce media campaigns.
  • Special theft investigations.
  • And 'BATTLE' or Beat Auto Theft Through Law Enforcement

"And then it puts it toward law enforcement prevention, education and also prosecution and training and that's really what has law enforcement working together to try to reduce auto theft"

A recent report shows per capita Colorado Springs ranks 74th in thefts and Pueblo is number two in the nation.

BATTLE South consists of Colorado Springs Police and other agencies that work part time using that money to stop thefts.

"With our situation summer kind of picked up a lot," said Sgt. Kevin Miyakusu from the Colorado Springs Police Department, "We had a lot in April, May and June and it just doesn't seem to be stopping."

July through December is usually the hot months for thefts in Colorado. From July 2016 through June 2017 BATTLE South put that $1 fee to good use, "We recovered 140 vehicles at $1.3 million value and we arrested 45 people for motor vehicle theft."

In 2016 the state saw 18,047 vehicles stolen, 16,115 were recovered, a close to 89 percent recovery rate.

Over 20 percent of stolen cars are because the keys were inside, that can include when people leave their car on to warm up in the winter which is illegal.

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