Car thefts up across the state

Local News

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo — Never leave your car unlocked, because car theft is a crime of opportunity.

One local dealership employee experienced the issue firsthand in Denver, luckily not here on the Western Slope.

Chris Haugen, with Discovery Auto Group, says, “we did a park and fly and unfortunately when we got back our vehicle was gone. Somebody attempted to steal it and the PD impounded it.”

From 2019 to 2020, there were 549 cases of car theft on the Western Slope.

As of July 31st, the number of incidents is 204.

Callie Berkson, with the Grand Junction Police Department, says, “continues to be the trend in 2021. Auto thefts are on the rise, we see about thirty auto thefts per month here in the Grand Valley.”

The Grand Valley isn’t experiencing the same number of cases compared to the rest of the state.

Haugen added, “law enforcement has grants from the state of Colorado to help subsidize crime on the Western Slope.”

The most common car crimes that police see on the Western Slope might actually surprise you.

Berkson added, “it is illegal in Colorado to leave your car running and then go inside. That is the biggest time that thieves are going to take your car.”

Stolen cars are also used to commit other crimes.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office wants you to remember the 9 p.m. routine, remove, lock up and leave on house lights.

Haugen also says, “be responsible with your automobiles, make sure it’s locked, make sure it’s parked somewhere under light. Put it in a garage. Don’t give people the opportunity to take advantage of you.”

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