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Car thefts increased nearly 30% in Colorado Springs

Car thefts increased nearly 30% in Colorado Springs
Posted at 6:57 PM, Jul 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-12 08:55:13-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Car thefts are on the rise in Colorado and even more so in Colorado Springs. Colorado State Patrol says there's been an 18% increase in car thefts in Colorado since this time last year. Meanwhile an officer with CSPD says there’s been an increase of about 30% of these types of crimes.

In a press release, Colorado State Patrol also noted that the top locations where car thefts happen is at a car owner's home or in a public parking lot.

About a month ago, Tabitha Israel's car got stolen from the driveway of her home.

“I went outside, and I wanted to drop something in the trash and I’m looking to the side, and my car is gone,” said Israel, who said she called police immediately after.

It also happened to Jasmine Poor, who accidentally left her keys in the vehicle one night. Her car was stolen from in front of her apartment building.

“I asked my little sister the next day to get the vehicle started, just to get it ready and warmed up. And she said, ‘oh, your car's not there.’ I thought it was a joke, and come to find out there was no vehicle there,” said Poor.

In Colorado Springs, around this time last year, nearly 1,060 vehicles were reported stolen. Around the same time this year, it's up to 1,300 vehicles that have been reported stolen.

“Not every vehicle is recovered the same. Some are recovered very quickly with no damage. Some are damaged very, very badly,” said Officer M.J. Thomson, a crime prevention officer with CSPD. “Right now we're at a 59% recovery rate,”

CSPD’s recovery rate lower than the state average recovery rate of 91%.

Officer Thomson also said stolen cars are often used in other crimes like armed robberies or burglarizing a home or business.

Israel’s car was recovered about two weeks later and 40 minutes away from where it was stolen. She also mentioned the car battery was dead when she found it and tried to start it.

“The ignition had been drilled into and then the the gearshift had been drilled into also. So basically, the damages exceeded the value of the car, and my insurance counted it as a total loss,” said Israel.

Isreal and Poor said it's disrupted their everyday routine, but it's a lesson learned for all.

“So if somebody just takes the car, they're not going to be able to see that we're tracking them we know exactly where they're going,” said Israel.

“It was indeed a lesson learned. Hopefully my car gets found, hopefully,” said Poor, who still hasn’t gotten her car back.

Poor also said it's been even more challenging because she used her car to get to necessary medical appointments.

"I can't make it to half my appointments. I can't make it to work a lot. I've had to spend hundreds of dollars on Ubers for the past month, and it's not fun. It's not fun at all.

In Pueblo, car thefts have decreased by about 5% from this time last year to now. Last year, there were 644 stolen vehicles at this time. This year there are 612. Pueblo’s recovery rate of stolen cars is about 86%. In Pueblo, Ford F-250’s, F-350’s, & F-150’s are common of stolen vehicles.

Officer Thompson recommends to not leave your cars in your vehicle, and not leave your vehicle running if you park it outside of your home or at a convenience store, even if it’s a matter of a few minutes. He also mentioned that when CSPD receives a phone call about a stolen vehicle, some people do not know their license plate number. He recommends to take a picture of it on your phone, or write it down in and keep it somewhere safe.

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