Auto Theft is Up and Its Time to Protect Yourself

Hide Featured Image

(COLORADO) – Vehicle theft has taken center stage in conversations for many Coloradoans this past year. With auto theft continuing to rise, the Colorado State Patrol and The Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority (CATPA) want to provide information and tools to help you protect your vehicle and help us lessen the rate of auto theft.


In 2022:

  • 1 in 54 households were victim to vehicle theft
  • 9 out of 10 stolen vehicles were recovered 
  • 113 vehicles were stolen every day
  • 15 vehicles were attempted stolen every day
  • 1 out of 6 stolen vehicles were used to commit another crime
  • Every hour, five vehicles were stolen and four were recovered each hour
  • 2 stolen vehicles were recovered away from the city where they were stolen
  • 99% of the vehicle theft charges also include secondary crimes related to motor vehicle theft

Preventing auto theft starts with the basics. 

The best step you can take to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of auto theft is to lock your car and take your keys, every time. Failure to take this basic step is referred to as Owner Apathy, and according to National Insurance Crime Bureau’s latest report, thefts involving the keys left in the vehicle are up by 20% over the last few years. 

Beyond this first step, CATPA always recommends you park your vehicle in a garage or secure parking area, if available to you. If your garage is too full for your vehicle, it’s time to clean it out and benefit from a secure place to store your vehicle. A locked car, in a secure garage, drastically reduces your chances of motor vehicle theft. 

When you don’t have access to secured parking whether, at home, work or anywhere else, CATPA recommends taking extra security precautions to secure your vehicle. Devices such as a steering wheel lock, an aftermarket alarm system, or advanced measures like a vehicle kill switch or immobilizer are possible options. These features are particularly recommended for any vehicle over five years old, and especially for those models found on the Top Ten Most Stolen Cars list.

  1. Chevrolet Silverado (85% were model years older than 10 years)
  2. Kia Sportage (95% were model years newer than 10 years)
  3. Hyundai Sonata (79% were model years newer than 10 years)
  4. Kia Optima (88% were model years newer than 10 years)
  5.  Hyundai Tucson (93% were model years newer than 10 years)
  6. Hyundai Elantra (60% were model ears newer than 10 years)
  7. Ford F-250 (90% were model years older than 10 years)
  8. Honda Civic (89% were model years older than 10 years
  9. Kia Sorrento (75% were model years newer than 10 years)
  10. GMC Sierra (85% were model years newer than 10 years)

If you are fortunate to have secure parking and live in a low-crime area, auto theft should still be a concern for you! The victim of vehicle theft is not solely the owner.  In nearly all cases, stolen vehicles are used as the means to commit other serious and violent crimes including drug use or sales, other thefts, armed robberies, burglaries, assaults and homicides. 

In addition to crimes and rising insurance rates across Colorado, auto thieves add to the dangerous driving landscape by notoriously driving recklessly. While committing this crime they display willful disregard for other motorists, pedestrians and laws, speeding excessively, running traffic lights, cutting other vehicles off, passing on the shoulders, and attempting to elude law enforcement.  In some instances, they crash causing injury to themselves and other uninvolved motorists.

By making your vehicle a more challenging target for theft, you can help us reduce this crime in Colorado. Please take your keys and always lock your vehicle to bring these numbers down and make Colorado a safer place. Learn about additional ways to prevent auto theft at 


Since our origin in 1935, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) has focused on preserving human life and protecting property within our communities. Our 1,100 members embody the core values of Honor, Duty, and Respect in their daily jobs.  In addition to our expertise in motor vehicle safety on the state’s roadways, the CSP is responsible for the Governor and other dignitaries’ protection, commercial motor vehicle enforcement, hazardous materials, homeland security, communications, investigative services, criminal interdiction, community education, aviation operations, and more.