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Aurora police using social media to battle car thefts

AURORA, Colo. -- Since the beginning of the year, more than 1,000 vehicles have been stolen in Aurora. That's a 14 percent increase from last year.

To help in their fight against auto theft, the Aurora Police Department is turning to social media.

When someone reports their vehicle stolen, that information will be posted on a newly created Facebook page and Twitter account.

It is hoped that by getting this information out to the public it will help the victims of auto theft get their cars back sooner.

If one of the department's social media followers sees a stolen vehicle they are asked not to follow or approach it but to call police immediately.

The Telecommunicator with Public Safety Communications Department takes a call will then verify that the vehicle is stolen and then broadcast the information to officers in that area.

The Denver Police Department applauded this tactic to battle thieves.

"We believe that using social media for this purpose will bring more public awareness to the issue of auto theft," Sgt. Chris Amsler said. "Auto theft affects not only the individual vehicle owner, but our entire community.  We also want auto thieves to know that starting today not only are the police looking for the cars they steal but so is the public."

The Aurora Police Department also offers citizens auto theft prevention tips to ensure cars don't end up on Twitter.