DENVER (KDVR) — More and more cars are being stolen in Denver, according to Denver Police Department statistics.

It is happening at a rate that has more than doubled so far this year. The trend has people wondering if they should go back to putting a lock on their steering wheels.

It is an issue plaguing Denver and its suburbs. Nyiesha Brooks, a Green Valley Ranch resident, was caring for her sick daughter a few weeks ago at Children’s Hospital in Aurora when the family SUV was stolen from the hospital parking lot.

“I circled the parking lot again, and I’m like I know I parked right here,” Nyiesha said. “And there was another vehicle there.”

She said hospital security had no idea what happened. Police would find the SUV just more than a week later with a missing door lock, a missing ignition switch and missing child car seats. The Brooks family is now part of a metro-wide problem.

Average of 40 cars stolen in Denver each day

Amid inflation, the increase in auto theft is having a real impact on families. To track auto theft in Denver neighborhoods, click here. For car theft prevention tips, click here.

In the metro’s largest city, Denver, there have been 4,540 auto thefts so far this year. That’s an average of more than 40 cars stolen in Denver every day. The current rate more than doubles the year-to-date average of the previous three years (2019, 2020 and 2021) of 2,118 auto thefts.