Boulder police: 53 cars stolen in last six months
Boulder police warn public of increase in auto thefts, offer advice to deter thieves
Vehicle thefts are on the rise in Boulder, and police want to warn the public and share some tips to make sure that others don’t become victims of auto theft.
Between Jan. 1, 2012 and July 1, 2012, people reported 53 stolen vehicles in Boulder. So far this year, 43 of those autos have been recovered (81% recovery rate). During the same time period last year (Jan. 1 – July 1, 2011), there were 46 vehicles reported stolen, with 35 of them recovered (76% recovery rate).
While the recovery rates might seem like good news, many of the recovered vehicles were severely damaged by the thieves and some of the vehicles were not drivable. In several instances, drug paraphernalia was found inside the recovered cars. Some of the autos were found in Boulder, and others were located in nearby cities.
Most of these vehicle thefts have several things in common:
- The victim’s left their cars unlocked or the windows down.
- They left spare keys inside the unlocked car.
- There were valuables, such as purses, credit cards and electronics, in full view.
Thieves are usually looking for an easy steal. They want to work fast to start the car and then leave the area. Many of these thefts would not have occurred if the victims had simply locked their vehicles. Police offer some advice to keep your car secure:
- Always lock your car, even if it’s in your own driveway.
- Never leave a spare key in your car (that includes the valet key in your glove box).
- Don’t leave valuables (purses, wallets, cash, credit cards, and electronics) in view. It’s best to take them with you and not leave them in the car at all.
- Don’t leave your car running unattended, even to make a quick trip into a convenience store. This is exactly how at least one thief made off with a car this year in Boulder.
- Don’t leave your windows open – even cracked – when you park your vehicle.
- Park in well-lit areas. If you have a garage, use it. (And don’t leave the garage door open. Thieves may not get your car, but they’ll take whatever else they can easily steal).
- Consider an alarm, or a theft-deterrent/recovery system device like LoJack.
To date in 2012, Boulder police have made 13 arrests for auto theft. (One of the suspects is a teenager who is not old enough to obtain a driver’s license). From Jan. 1, 2011 to July 1, 2011, seven people were arrested. Police are continuing to investigate open cases.
If you are the victim of a vehicle theft, call police immediately. You may call 9-1-1, or the non-emergency Dispatch number at 303-441-3333. Police will need the make, model, year and color of your car, as well as the license plate number. They’ll also need to know when you believe car was stolen, and whether it was locked or unlocked at the time. Investigators will also ask whether you keep a spare key inside the vehicle.