Property crimes are escalating in Colorado


Property crimes are dramatically increasing in Colorado especially bikes. Bikes are becoming some of the hottest products on the market driving people to steal. Photo courtesy of Markus Spiske from Unsplash.

Colorado is facing a major crisis. Bikes, cars, and personal property are being stolen at astronomical rates. Technology and people’s unwillingness to lock their belongings up are contributing to a problem that is having devastating impacts on the locals.

According to the Denver Post, burglaries rose 23% in 2020, larceny rose 9%, auto theft rose 61% and theft from cars rose 39%. These numbers do not look to be slowing down in 2021.

 “Two days ago a camera caught footage of two people trying to steal a catalytic converter in Denver,” says Kym Bloom, a bystander.  Stolen motor vehicles have risen 13% since 2020.

Some of the latest technology has led to thefts. Reports from the New York Times explain how the key fobs and new technology are making it easier to steal and break into cars. 

Reporter Sarah Maslin Nir says, “The technology that was created specifically to eliminate car thefts, such as key fob technology, is now being used against us.” This causes more police involvement in larger cities such as Arvada and Denver.

The main reason for the rising auto theft may be that during Covid, many Americans were unemployed. Not only that, but the car market is on fire. The average new car price in 2021 was $40,857, which is about 5% higher than it was last year. The average price of a used car in 2021 is around $15,000 so neither options are necessarily cheap. This may be driving people to steal.

Bikes are also a major property crime problem in Colorado. Alex River, a former A-West student who graduated last year has recently been experiencing these types of crimes. 

River says, “I had 2 bikes stolen in the span of 2 weeks, one was just a bad locking job and the second was that the robber took his or her sweet time to take my bike.” The second time River’s bike was stolen, the robber used lock cutters which was what he was describing when saying “took his sweet time.”

This is proving to be another major problem in Colorado. Bikes are very valuable because the cost of a good bike is anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000, so they can be sold at a high price or used for personal enjoyment.

Alex River explains his thoughts on why his bike was stolen by saying, “Because of lack of money people want to find or make a more cost-efficient way to get around, bikes seem to be stolen all of the time. I also feel like Covid has an impact because some people are and have been struggling a lot in money terms at the start and in the midst of the pandemic.”

Covid and the economy seem to certainly play a role in the rising property crimes. River hopes to prevent this in the future. 

He has his own solution, “Either I check if my locks are on and see if there seems to be anyone looking at my bike before I go inside or I just take it inside or lock it in a less visible place.  I honestly just think we need to get over this pandemic and keep our belongings in safe places and locked up when they are outside. Also, know your area and know who to be suspicious of, if anyone.”

The hope is that crimes like his will fall after the pandemic and as our economy slowly rises. People should be vigilant and be aware of their surroundings during this season. 

 “The major problem is that thousands of people are leaving key fobs in their vehicles, whether intentionally or unintentionally, which can allow thieves to enter the car or truck and drive off without even finding the key,” says Frances Yue from USA Today.

 Colorado continues to face an infestation of thievery. If people are able to do simple things such as locking up belongings this should change.