DENVER (KDVR) — Car thefts have doubled since this time last year across the state, especially in the Denver metro area.
According to the Colorado Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force, there were 8,667 auto thefts across Colorado during the first three months of 2021, 6,626 of which were in the Denver metro.
The 2021 auto thefts in Colorado are nearly double what they were in each of the last four years’ first quarters. In the Denver metro, they are more than double.
This continues the trend during the 2020 pandemic year, when car thefts rates doubled in most months over the previous year.
All of Colorado saw auto theft spike this year, but the Denver metro’s year-over-year increase was higher.
Between 2017 and 2020, the first quarter saw an average 4,800 auto thefts statewide or 3,200 in the Denver metro area.
That makes a 78% increase statewide over last year and a 101% increase in auto theft in the Denver metro area.
The same holds true for each month individually.
Individually, January, February and March each saw an increase in auto theft both statewide and in the metro.
Statewide, there were 87% more January auto thefts, 87% more February thefts and 62% more March thefts in 2021 than in 2020.
The monthly increase was sharper in Denver. In the Denver metro area, there were 116% more January auto thefts, 124% more February thefts and 87% more March thefts in 2021 than in 2020.
Denver’s auto thefts also grew to become a larger share of the state’s total.
Usually, only two-thirds of auto thefts happen in the Denver metro, but this year 76% of the state’s auto thefts did.