Stolen car totals reach record high in Pueblo - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Stolen car totals reach record high in Pueblo

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This Honda was stolen in Pueblo and hasn't been recovered This Honda was stolen in Pueblo and hasn't been recovered

If you live in Pueblo, there is one warning for those who own vehicles:

Lock them up.

Stolen vehicles have reached a record high in 2017 and a majority of the crimes happen because of "puffing" Police said.

In 2017, there were 1253 stolen vehicles in Pueblo.  That's compared to the 1211 in 2016, 928 in 2015, 548 in 2014 and 553 in 2013.

"It's a tremendous burden not only on the victims because that's their only mode of transportation to go to work, to be able to provide for their families, but also for our officers, to take the report, to track down these vehicles, to try to recover them," said Crime Prevention Specialist Brandon Beauvais with the Pueblo Police Department.

The top vehicle makes stolen are Honda, Ford and Chevy.

In 2017, 347 Honda's were stolen in Pueblo.

Natalie Padilla is one of those.

Her 1990's Honda Accord was stolen eventhough she locked the vehicle up and parked it right outside her apartment window.

"It really didn't matter, no matter what I could do, it just seemed like it was bound to happen," said Padilla.  "It's definitely not an easy concept, I mean, I definitely wouldn't wish this on anybody."

Others News 5 spoke with experienced just how quickly a vehicle can be stolen.

My husband was leaving to work, he forgot his cell phone in the house and he ran in the house and grabbed it off of the table and went back outside and the car was gone, literally 30 seconds," said Pueblo West resident Stayci.  "He was inside maybe 30 seconds, and came back out and honestly he looked around and thought 'did I put the car in park and it rolled down the driveway? and he looked all over and nope, it was gone, in 30 seconds."

Pueblo Police are now working with other jurisdictions to try and curb the trend.

"We have a good partnership with our surrounding agencies and sharing that information, working together, bringing in new technology that's available and good old fashioned police work," said Beauvais.

What bothers these two car theft victims the most, is the impact on their kids.

"They looked in the backseat and it was full of car seats and children's coats, backpacks, I have children and they seen that stuff and threw it all in the trunk and went about their business," said Stayci.  "They have no remourse, they don't care, they took the car and threw everything out and went about their business and left half of it behind for me to find."

"It's more hurtful because they stole from my son, a lot of his stuff was in my car and that's what I think is harder and then the fact that I don't have transportation to get where I need to go," said Padilla.

Pueblo Police have the following tips to prevent auto theft:
-Be cognizant of where you park and the opportunity it may provide to criminals
-Do not leave your car running unattended.
-Don't leave spare keys or try to kide keys in your vehicle, the criminals know where to look.
-Do not leave items of value or perceived items of value in your car to attract criminals.
-Don't leave garage door openers in your car.
-Purchase alarm stickers for your windows
-Use an alarm if you have one
-Report suspicious activity to police, such as suspicious vehicles and people.

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