The state treasurer has transferred $5 million from the general fund for auto theft prevention programs across Colorado, as required under Senate Bill 23-257.
The Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority (CATPA) selected the Colorado State Patrol as one of the agencies to receive funds from this grant.
Through (CATPA) and the Beat Auto Theft Through Law Enforcement (BATTLE) Motor Vehicle Theft Program, money is accessible to victims of auto theft and catalytic converter theft.
The goal is to help reduce the monetary burdens like “ secondary costs after the event of motor vehicle theft or catalytic converter theft," Cale Gould, the public outreach coordinator for the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority, said.
Oftentimes after a vehicle or catalytic converter theft, there can be a backlog of other expenses that can follow being without a vehicle. The grant money seeks to offset these costs.
“Many victims of auto theft don’t have full coverage insurance to help with their car if it has been stolen to help to recoup any of that cost, and even those who do have full coverage insurance may still have extending costs such as transportation needs,” Gould said.
The costs that can be covered under this grant for victims are as follows:
- Alternative transportation
- Public transportation
- Ride-share services
- Rental vehicle services
- Cleaning and sanitation fees
- Towing and storage fees
- Catalytic converter hardening devices
- Steering wheel locks
"They just have to get around, whether it be to get to their job or to doctor appointment or get their kids to school, that is one of the secondary costs that exist when you get your car stolen," Gould said.
Jacob Dodge is a car theft victim. His car was stolen on Thursday morning.
"Immediately I thought this smells really bad, lots of food, surprisingly a lot of 7-11 food and Chipotle," Dodge said.
Dodge woke up to police at his doors saying his car was broken into and then stolen.
"This is a total drag, not a great way to wake up," Dodge said.
He said he parked his car outside his apartment on Wednesday night. According to Dodge, someone stole his car on Thursday morning, trashed it and then parked it in the back lot of the property. Dodge said it is an inconvenience but not a surprise.
"My car has been broken into before this at least three times," Dodge said.
However, Dodge does not know if the grant program could help
"I think my car is beyond repair— the police office, I asked if they could tow it somewhere this morning, they said it could be towed to the impound but it would rack up fees" Dodge said.
He is frustrated that more action has not been taken to prevent car thefts.
"I have just been told, it is what it is and Colorado Springs has a bad car theft program or something," Dodge said.
If you are a victim of auto theft or catalytic converter theft, visit here to get assistance with these costs.