Year-to-Date Colorado Car Thefts Outpacing 2021

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(COLO) –Following the unfortunate record high Motor Vehicle Thefts reported in Colorado during 2021, Colorado continues to exceed the number of vehicles stolen each month when compared to the previous year. The most recent numbers available, January through May 2022, show an 18% increase this year to date from the record-setting numbers of 2021.

“The most recent data shows that over 3630 vehicles were stolen across Colorado in the month of May with metropolitan communities along with the front range from Ft. Collins running south through Trinidad feeling the impact,” stated Col. Matthew C. Packard, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “While law enforcement had a 91% success rate in recovering stolen vehicles in May, the damage or condition of these vital pieces of property were too often beyond repair.”

This year-to-date recovery rate of 91% is important to note, while Colorado has experienced record high vehicle thefts, our recovery rate greatly exceeds that of the national average (roughly above 50% recovery rate). However, this exceptional recovery rate does not lessen the economic, emotional, and personal loss experienced by the victim.

For National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month, the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority (CATPA) wants people to be aware of the top locations where thefts take place. 1.) At a vehicle owner's residence or home. 2.) A parking lot or garage (Such as at a public transportation hub, grocery store, or other places where your vehicle may remain unattended)

Tips to Protect Your Vehicle While at Your Home

  • Vehicles come with locks – use them! It’s important to make sure you lock your doors at all times. This common-sense solution is a real deterrent to burglars looking for a quick steal. An unlocked door or open window (even a crack) is an invitation to burglars because they don’t need to break in. Don’t make it easier for a would-be thief to steal your car, leaving your car unlocked or a spare key in the vehicle does half the work for a thief.
  • Take away the cover of darkness. Park your car somewhere well-lit. Bright lights act as a strong burglar deterrent. If you park on your driveway, add strong sconce lights or flood light to ensure your car is in clear view rather than in the shadows of darkness.
  • Never leave valuables in your car. When you look in the windows of your vehicle, it needs to be visibly empty. Burglars break in to get cash, computers, clothes, cellphone accessories, keys, or other things of value.
  • Have ‘eyes’ on your car while you sleep. If you park on your driveway or directly in front of your main door, consider adding an outdoor camera to your home, separately or with your doorbell. Take it a step further and place a sign that says, “Smile Please, You’re on Camera”. No burglar wants to read a sign like that and comply.
  • Unclutter your garage and use it! If you are fortunate to have a garage, get your vehicle in there each and every night. You still want to lock your car doors in the garage and also lock garage doors. Thefts of vehicles within garages are dramatically reduced compared to vehicles outside of garages.

Imagine your day-to-day life without your vehicle. While home is often thought of as the place you feel most comfortable, thieves want to make a quick steal when you aren’t worried and watching. Be sure to safeguard one of the most important physical assets you lease or own – protect your vehicle at home!

For more information on auto theft trends, prevention tips, and the latest information on CATPA events please visit


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.