DENVER — The number of crimes reported in Colorado continued to climb in 2020 as COVID-19 ravaged the state.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation released the 2020 Crime in Colorado report Tuesday. It shows 353,528 total crimes were reported in Colorado in 2020, a 3.9% increase from last year.
Much of that increase is due to a surge in property crime, according to the CBI report. There were a total of 258,132 crimes against property reports in 2020, showing a 10.4% increase over 2019.
Last year also saw a dramatic increase in the number of vehicle thefts. Colorado reported 30,942 incidents of motor vehicle theft in 2020, a 38.6% increase compared to 2019 numbers.
Colorado has seen a steep increase in stolen vehicles in the past couple of years. And Denver International Airport is not immune to the surge.
Last week, the Denver Police Department reported a 63% increase in cars reported stolen from the airport since the beginning of the year. From Jan. 1 to March 3, there's been 26 cars reported stolen from DIA, compared to 16 in the same time frame from 2020.
The report states that a statewide task force is in the works to better understand the underlying causes of increases in vehicle thefts and to develop a statewide strategy to reduce the number of stolen cars.
Other highlights in the report show an increase in violent crime incidents. Reports of violent crime increased by 6.5% compared to 2019 reports.
Homicide rates in Denver appear to reflect the state’s upward trend.
There were 95 people killed in homicides in Denver last year, the Denver Post reported in January. That number is a 51% increase from 2019 and the highest the city has seen since 1981.
Homicide rates have increased in other major cities across the country. Officials attribute a rise in gun violence in U.S. cities to the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment, economic anxiety and stress on mental health.