The first time a cop on the lookout for a lost or stolen vehicle near Interstate 12 in Colorado, a black Chevy Suburban parked near the interstate, he says, is like “a bullet through the head.”
“We have a good enough reputation, so we have to do what we’re supposed to do,” he says.
But in the last couple of years, his team has become increasingly concerned about the high number of stolen vehicles and vehicles with a lost owner.
“We’re seeing more and more vehicles, including vehicles with broken windows, tires that were stolen, or vehicles with damage to the windshields, windows, and roof,” says Sgt. Chris Gebhard, a spokesman for the Colorado Highway Patrol.
In addition to a few reports of vehicles with cracked or scratched tires, Gebhart says he has seen at least five vehicles that have been reported stolen by people who were never seen by police, or people who have disappeared without a trace.
In March, Colorado State Patrol troopers spotted a pickup truck with an expired tag in the mountains of southwestern Colorado, which was the first stolen vehicle spotted by a state patrol patrol officer.
“It’s a big issue for the police,” Gebart says.
“If we’re getting reports of stolen cars that are not reported to us, we’re seeing a very high number, and a lot of those vehicles are in very poor condition.
We’ve got to get these cars out of the wild, and get them back on the road.” “
There’s a lot to do.
We’ve got to get these cars out of the wild, and get them back on the road.”
One of the most serious challenges for law enforcement is finding the vehicles that are most frequently stolen and reported to the state patrol, says Sgt, Steve Mancuso, the spokesman for Colorado Highway Protection.
“The numbers have gone up in the past two or three years,” Manciso says.
The agency has received several calls regarding vehicles that were reported stolen.
Mancoso says that even though the stolen vehicles are usually located close to major highways, some are also found near residential areas.
“Our crews have been working with the owners to try to locate these vehicles, to try and locate the owners of the vehicles,” he explains.
“Some of these vehicles have had a lot in them that’s been broken down or torn apart.
Gebardons department is looking for two other stolen vehicles, he adds. “
At this point, we have two investigations in the works and one will be ongoing.”
Gebardons department is looking for two other stolen vehicles, he adds.
And there are a lot more vehicles that aren’t being reported to law enforcement, but are in poor condition, Mancises says.
In fact, the agency has seen more than 5,000 vehicles reported stolen since 2010.
“That’s a really large number,” he notes.
The number of reported stolen vehicles in Colorado has doubled since 2009, when there were about 6,500 reported stolen cars, Marcusos says.
And the number of reports of a stolen vehicle in the state increased from 1,200 in 2009 to 3,500 in 2010.
The state of Colorado also reported a record number of vehicle thefts in 2013, and Mancs agency says that in 2016, they had more than 10,000 reports of vehicle theft in Colorado.
That’s a record for any state.
“This has been a very, very, high number for the last decade, which is really encouraging for us, because we have had many of these cases in the previous few years,” Geghard says.