7951 E. Maplewood Avenue, Suite 110
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
Car Thieves Are in The Spotlight of The New Coloradans Against Auto Theft Campaign
June 10, 2011 – The newly formed Coloradans Against Auto Theft (CAAT) coalition is focusing on car thieves this summer with the launch of a new public awareness campaign. In conjunction with law enforcement agencies, insurance companies and community partners, CAAT is launching the next phase of its Lockdown campaign aimed at drawing attention to the spike in auto thefts during the summer months and to serve as a friendly reminder to the general public about the importance of protecting personal property as they park their cars.
Summer is a peak time for auto thefts in Colorado for two primary reasons: people engage in activities that put them at higher risk such as parking cars for extended periods at concerts, festivals, sporting events and trail heads; it's also a time when people adopt more risky behaviors such as leaving windows down and sunroofs open. "When we're out enjoying all that Colorado has to offer during the summer months we often don't think about the risk of parking in unfamiliar surroundings, leaving cars for long periods of time with windows cracked and valuables in plain sight," says Carole Walker, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association/CAAT Co-Chair. "We're just reminding people to take a few minutes to make a car thief's job more difficult."
Colorado State Patrol Lt. Colonel Scott Hernandez says, "Most people just think that it will never happen to them, however more than 12,000 vehicles are stolen each year in Colorado. People can easily avoid making themselves a target for thieves by being more careful and making sure they lock their car every single time."
Lockdown Summer Campaign – Leave The Concert in Your Car
To kick off the Lockdown summer campaign, CAAT has launched a guerilla campaign to reinforce the idea that all car owners are potential targets of thieves. Lockdown messaging at various events in Colorado will appear by way of removable decals on car windows; six-foot tall posters of a thief; distribution of flyers containing auto theft prevention tips and the strategic placement of suspicious-looking mannequins, "thieves", accompanied by a sign warning of the consequences of not protecting your personal property. Each mannequin also has QR codes that direct people to a mobile-friendly landing page.
CAAT intends to roll out the program at public venues across the state with the support of coalition partners and auto theft task forces.
Did You Know?
- More than 12,000 vehicles are stolen each year in Colorado (source: FBI)
- In 2009, auto thefts resulted in 79.2 million dollars in losses to citizens of Colorado
- Car theft is typically a part of other serious criminal enterprises, such as terrorism, illegal drugs, homicides and identity theft
- 40% of Coloradans know someone who has had a car stolen*
- Only 8% are concerned it could happen to them*
- 1 in 5 engage in risky behaviors such as not locking cars, leaving additional keys in the car, leaving cars running or parking in dimly lit, low-traffic areas*
- 40% admit to leaving a car running while unattended (nearly 50% are unaware this is illegal in the state of Colorado)*
- Most of this crime is preventable
* From a 2010 statewide survey of Coloradans by Talmey-Drake Research
What Can You Do?
The Lockdown consumer website, www.lockdownyourcar.org, provides important tips:
- Always lock your car
- Never leave your car running unattended
- Never leave any keys in the car, even a spare set
- Never leave valuables in plain sight
- Always park in well-lit, high-traffic areas
- Get windows, doors and fenders etched with the VIN
- Consider installing a tracking and recovery device
CAAT unveiled the Lockdown campaign in February. Public awareness activities include coordinated statewide education campaigns, enforcement efforts and the launch of its new consumer-focused auto theft prevention website, www.lockdownyourcar.org. The website has everything from current auto theft trends to victim support, testimonials and current coalition efforts to prevent auto theft in Colorado.
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.