DENVER (KDVR) — Motor vehicle-related crimes still make up nearly half of all Denver crimes, and have grown to represent almost one in five crimes across the state.
Motor vehicle theft grew rapidly in Colorado and particularly Denver in the past four years, and that was at the tail end of a decade’s worth of growth. Car theft rates more than doubled between 2011 and 2020 and doubled from 2019 to 2022.
Through 2023, the most common crimes continue to be motor vehicle related. Around 40% of Denver’s crimes to date fall under that category.
Of nearly 26,000 crimes, the next most common were public disorderly crimes which include criminal mischief, graffiti, threats of injury, trespassing and prostitution. These crimes represent 15% of arrests, while larceny (theft) was 12%.
Crimes such as weapons charges or assaults on police represented 12%, burglary 6.5%, other crimes against a person such as simple assault were 6%, drug and alcohol crimes 6%, aggravated assaults 4%, robbery 2%, sex assault 1%, arson 0.2% and murder 0.1%.
Statewide, however, thefts are the biggest chunk of Colorado crime. Theft or larceny represents 43% of all crimes committed through 2023, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s database, while violent crime is 11%.
However, motor vehicle theft is the second-largest type of crime statewide, counting for 17% of Colorado crimes in 2022 and 16% in 2023. Motor vehicle theft doubled as a share of all Colorado crime between 2019 and 2022.