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Greenwood Village, Colorado 80111
Serving Colorado, New Mexico, Utah & Wyoming
Carole Walker, RMIIA Executive
Director, 303-790-0216 or toll free 800-355-9524
For Auto Theft Task Force Information: Lori Malcolm, CATPA, 303-239-4560
Colorado Statewide Task Forces Putting Auto Theft on Lockdown
Governor Proclaims "Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Week" February 13-19, 2011
February 15, 2011 – Together with law enforcement agencies, insurance companies and community partners, the newly formed Coloradans Against Auto Theft (CAAT) coalition is working to put the brakes on auto theft. Although Colorado has seen a steady decline in auto theft, more than 12,000 vehicles (source: FBI) are stolen each year and are increasingly part of serious criminal enterprises that involve other crimes, such as illegal drugs, homicides and identity theft.
Lakewood Chief of Police Kevin Paletta attributes much of the decrease in the number of stolen vehicles in Colorado and in Lakewood to the support from the state's Auto Theft Prevention Authority and the multi-jurisdictional auto theft task forces that pool resources to crack down on auto theft. "Our task forces work beyond city and county borders to recover stolen vehicles and prosecute organized crime groups," says Paletta. "But that's not enough. Many times, auto theft is a preventable crime. We really need the public's help to prevent these thefts and apprehend the offenders."
To that end, CAAT is launching "Lockdown," a statewide auto theft prevention initiative to educate the public on what they can do to reduce their chances of becoming a victim of auto theft. "Lockdown demonstrates that Colorado is unified in its efforts against auto theft," says Carole Walker, Executive Director Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association/CAAT Co-Chair. "It empowers citizens to protect themselves by taking even the simplest of actions: locking their car." CAAT's public awareness efforts include coordinated statewide education campaigns, enforcement efforts and a new consumer- focused auto theft prevention website, www.lockdownyourcar.org, that has everything from current auto theft trends to victim support, testimonials and current coalition efforts to prevent auto theft in Colorado.
A recent statewide poll conducted by Talmey-Drake Research shows one in five Coloradans engage in risky behaviors such as not locking cars, keeping additional keys in the car, leaving cars running, or parking in dimly lit, low-traffic areas—all of which provide an open invitation to would-be thieves.
The poll also reveals that although 40% of Coloradans know someone who has had a car stolen, only 8% are concerned about their own risk of auto theft. "The low level of concern about auto theft among the general public shows a disconnect from what is happening in our state," says Colorado State Patrol (CSP) Lt. Colonel Scott Hernandez. "We want people to understand: this could very easily happen to you. By stealing your car and its contents, thieves potentially have access to your home, your business and even your identity."
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper proclaims February 13-19, 2011, "Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Week." For more information on the Lockdown campaign and ways to prevent auto theft visit www.lockdownyourcar.org.
Coloradans Against Auto Theft is a coalition of
law enforcement agencies, insurance partners, LoJack
and AAA Colorado. CAAT and the state auto theft task
force efforts are funded in part by the Colorado
Auto Theft Prevention Authority (CATPA).
Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association is a non-profit consumer information organization. Affiliated with the Insurance Information Institute, RMIIA has been serving consumers and the media since 1952.