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Colorado still holds number one spot in car thefts

Denver metro area thefts have more than doubled since 2019
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Posted at 6:19 PM, Sep 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-22 20:31:51-04

Colorado is still No. 1, but not in a good way.

As it did earlier this year, the state holds the top spot in the nation in car thefts per capita, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

“Unfortunately, your trend line is still up, and you’re still top of the stack,” said David Glawe, president and CEO of the NICB.

Since 2019, Glawe says car thefts in the Denver metro area are up 155%, the highest rate in the country.

Car theft data from the Colorado Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force (CMATT) shows car thefts increased from 13,227 in the metro area in 2019 to 27,439 in 2021. Through the first six months of 2022, CMATT has reported 16,191 car thefts, putting the area on pace to surpass 2021 numbers.

Glawe said used car prices are partly to blame for the uptick in thefts.

“A used car right now, to purchase, is up almost 35% to 40% greater than it was in 2019,” Glawe said.

While car thefts continue to rise, catalytic converter thefts have continued to skyrocket over the past two years.

Catalytic converters are popular among criminals because of the precious metals used inside.

After just 105 thefts in 2020, Denver police reported 2,027 catalytic converter thefts in 2021, and 2,000 so far this year, with more than three months remaining. The 2021 numbers represented an increase of 1,930% over the previous year.

Nationwide, Glawe said catalytic converter theft is up 1,200% since 2019.

The NICB recommends that people have comprehensive insurance should they become a victim of car or catalytic converter theft. They also recommend parking vehicles in well-lit areas and make sure people don’t leave key fobs in cars.

Anyone who sees suspicious activity should call 911. For more information, visit

Denver7 Investigative Reporter Jennifer Kovaleski contributed to this report.