The first quarter of 2021 saw a huge rise in car thefts in the area of Denver, Colorado. According to Colorado’s Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force (C-MATT) based in Jefferson County, a 114% increase in car theft was reported compared to the same period last 2020. It was noted that the spike started during the time we first learned about the coronavirus.
Report from 9news indicated that based on the police report, more than 2000 vehicles were stolen compared to the 900 plus during the period of January to March 15, 2021. Denver police also reported that there are certain types of cars that are most stolen in the Denver area.
MOST STOLEN CARS IN DENVER
- Chevrolet Silverado
- Ford F250
- Honda Accord
- Hyundai Sonata
- Honda Civic
- GMC Sierra
C-MATT on the other hand said that full-size trucks like the Ford F150, F250, F350 trucks, and the Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 1500, 2500, 3500 trucks are the kind of vehicles that are most stolen. These kinds of trucks when recovered are already without the valuable tools and equipment stored inside.
About 90% of the cars stolen were recovered but most of them are not in the same condition as they were when stolen. Denver police have vowed to continue their high visibility patrol to deter auto thefts.
TIPS IN PREVENTING CAR THEFTS
- Roll up the windows of your can and always keep the doors lock.
- Park in a well-lit area or park in a secured garage
- Never leave your car keys and key fob inside the car
- Remove or conceal anything of value
- Avoid leaving your car running and unattended
- Avoid parking in isolated areas
- Use anti-theft devices like car alarms and steering wheel locking device
- Report suspicious-looking people or behaviors
- Install a GPS tracking system
Stolen vehicles are oftentimes used in other crimes as well. It serves as a getaway car for some thefts and is also used for drug-running operations for some. Most of these cars are left abandoned after some time and when recovered, they are mostly always damaged.
The pandemic has forced many people to work from home and lockdowns have been enforced and yet, car thieves have found this to be of an advantage for them. They are emboldened to steal cars when most of the police force is busy with the problem of coronavirus.
Just last July; a grand jury has indicted five people involved in the operation of a drug and theft ring. Four have been arrested and one more is still on the run. They stole around 70 cars in the metro Denver area and from parking lots around Denver International Airport. This shows that the Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force is serious in its quest to go after car thieves.
Owning a car may be expensive but it has become a necessity for most Americans especially if you don’t live in an area where public transportation is easy. But owning a car is not without risk. You are prone to accidents, injuries, and theft. The solution? Get car insurance.
AUTO INSURANCE IN DENVER
The significant rise of car thefts in Denver has notably raise car insurance premiums as well. Since the city is densely populated, there are more drivers and accidents. Combine this with the number of stolen cars reported, premiums on auto insurance have risen as well.
However, getting auto insurance is still the best way to protect you from car thefts. It is mandatory that all automobile owners in Colorado carry liability insurance. Driving without one is considered a class-1 misdemeanor offense.
Minimum Requirement for Car Insurance
A driver is required to have liability insurance coverage. This is a type of insurance that pays injuries and property damages when you are at fault. There are two types:
- Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
When a policyholder causes a car accident, this coverage pays for the medical expenses of the injured party. It also covers lost income to the injured and in case you are sued in court for the accident, it can help pay for legal fees as well.
- Property Damage Liability Coverage
This type of coverage pays for the damage to another person’s car or for the property damaged by an accident. This can include mailboxes, fences, and building façade.
Aside from the required liability insurance, it will be advantageous to add optional coverage to protect you from financial losses. Since car thefts are rampant in Denver, you should purchase comprehensive car insurance coverage.
Comprehensive insurance pays for repairs or replaces your car in case of damage or theft. As long as it is not a result of a collision, this type of coverage helps pay for:
- Falling objects
- Damage caused by animals
- Windstorm damage
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO WHEN YOUR CAR IS STOLEN
You have taken all the precautions to avoid car theft. You are prepared because you have auto insurance with comprehensive coverage. And yet, your car was stolen. Here is a quick guide on how to go about reporting a car theft.
- Alert the police as soon as possible
The first thing you need to do is contact the police department and file for a stolen car report. Police stations have different procedures in filing for a police report. Some may require you to do it in the station or some may just need you to fill out the information online. Insurance companies will not honor a claim if no police report was filed. You will need the following for your filing:
- Make, model, color, and year of your car
- License plate number
- Vehicle identification number (VIN)
- Identifying marks or distinct features of your car-like decals and stickers
- Custom add-ons like spoilers and headlight covers
2. Contact your car insurer
After filing a police report, call your insurance company immediately. Give them the following details:
- The case number of your police report. They may ask for a soft or hard copy if needed.
- Description of your car
- Last location of your car
- List of personal items left inside the car at the time of the theft
- Vehicle title
- Contact info of your financing or leasing company
- Other important information your insurer may need
3. Report to your finance or leasing company
If your vehicle is financed or leased, contact the company and report your stolen car. They can be the ones to call the insurer for any claims they need.
If your stolen vehicle is recovered, you will also need to contact your insurer and leasing company as well. Report the damages done on your car and any items that may be missing inside including personal items, parts, and accessories.
The hassle of having a stolen car even if it is recovered after some time is stressful. The things you need to do are tedious. It is important that you have a record of your car details filed together with other important documents. Keep it in a safe place and easily accessible if needed.
WHAT YOU CAN DO AS PART OF THE COMMUNITY
The police cannot be at all the hot spots every time. As residents of Denver, you can do your part to help curb car theft.
- Be vigilant at all times. Report suspicious persons in your community. Take note of any doubtful activities.
- Gather your fellow residents and organize an auto theft prevention program.
- Partner with police agencies, insurance companies, the department of motor vehicles, and other pertinent agencies to help suppress car thefts.
- Establish preventive strategies by:
- Posting warning signs on hotspots to encourage car owners to protect themselves.
- Light the streets especially in places where there are fewer houses or buildings
- Install more street cameras
- Introduce bike patrols to help law enforcement in managing different locations.
- Restrict parking areas where there are not enough lighting and surveillance cameras.
- Keep trees and shrubs well maintained to prevent car thefts from having hiding areas.
- Post signs that can deter car thefts from targeting your area. Signs like “This area is under camera surveillance 24/7” will help.
Like many other cities, car theft has been on the rise since the start of the year. It is often linked to more serious crimes throughout the United State. In Denver, the police and C-MATT have been working hand in hand to prevent car thefts in the area. You can always help by making sure that you follow the tips in preventing this problem. And make sure that your auto insurance is updated and included the right coverage that you need.
For your auto insurance needs right here in Denver, you can contact us here at Advantage Insurance Solution (AIS), where expert agents can guide you on how to go about purchasing your auto insurance.