Car Thefts Up in Colorado

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Car Thefts Up -- Carole Walker
Carole Walker at a demonstration of how thieves can strip cars for parts in a matter of minutes.

The number of car thefts in Colorado jumped 30 percent last year and 2016 is on track to be the same or even worse, according to statistics from the Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center.

In Denver last year, there was also a jump in thefts of items from motor vehicles including purses and radios. Those numbers had been declining in recent years.

The Denver Police Department says the increase is due in large part to an increase in drug crimes and gang activity in the state but they also say car owners need to take precautions, including locking their cars and not leaving them running unattended.

Carole Walker is executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association and serves on the board of the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority. She spoke with Colorado Matters host Nathan Heffel.