DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado leads the nation in auto theft, and now Governor Jared Polis is calling on state lawmakers to address the growing problem.

Senate Democrats said they will unveil a bipartisan plan to combat auto thefts later this month. The new Speaker of the House at the state Capitol talked about what to expect in that proposal on our political program, “Colorado Point of View.”

According to stats from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, law enforcement reported a record of 42,259 auto thefts or attempted thefts in 2021. In 2022, preliminary numbers show 42,039 auto thefts or attempted thefts.

“I am pleased that the governor and legislators are taking a look at next steps, specifically on auto theft,” House Speaker, Rep. Julie McCluskie (D-Dillion) said. “I think it’s also important to look at the root causes. How can we do more to prevent crime in the first place?”

In his State of the State address this week, Polis called on lawmakers to get tough on auto theft sentencing and to follow recommendations made by the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice.

“I think penalties are a part of the conversation,” McCluskie said. “We have been very focused on addressing criminal justice reform in the right way. I think as we embark on these conversations, I want to make sure all voices are heard in how we should address this current challenge.”

You can watch our interview with Colorado’s new House Speaker on “Colorado Point of View” this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 7:30 a.m. on Colorado’s Very Own Channel 2.