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Longmont auto thefts surged in December but still lag statewide trend – Longmont Times Call

At first glance, Longmont police data for December 2022 paints a picture of a city where auto theft is rampant. Last month, car theft was the third most-reported type of crime, surpassing domestic violence incidents (his third most common type of phone calls in November 2022).

Even more surprisingly, the number of car thefts in Longmont more than doubled from November to December, with 25 car thefts reported in November and 54 in December. During that time, the number of thefts in the city went from averaging less than one he a day to nearly two a month.

Top 15 crimes reported in Longmont, December 2022.
Top 15 crimes reported in Longmont, December 2022.

But news isn’t all bad. In a state that ranks number one in the United States for auto thefts per capita, Longmont’s annual auto theft rate has not kept up with the rise in statewide rates over the past few years.

According to Longmont Public Safety Detective Cassidy Jones, the city saw a spike in cases in 2020, coinciding with the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Longmont, that year he had 451 car thefts reported, but in 2021 and he’s in 2022, the number of incidents has been relatively stable, and in 2021 he’s 449; In 2022 he had 447 cases. Meanwhile, Colorado saw a 31% increase in him from 2020 to 2021 statewide. From 2021 he will increase by 11% through 2022.

As to why Longmont’s case numbers aren’t moving in the same direction as the rest of the state, Jones said: He is active in prosecuting criminals found in stolen cars. ”

Regarding the number of car thefts in the city in December, Jones said that the winter months tended to be the most frequent car thefts. This is probably because many people leave their cars waiting for the engine to warm up on cold days. — a practice known as “puffing.”

“(The puff is) very visible because of the exhaust,” Jones said. “People can see a moving vehicle as a target very quickly, and it only takes seconds for that vehicle to be stolen.”

Still, at the statewide level, there has been a steady increase in auto thefts over the past few years. Cale Gould, public relations coordinator for the Colorado Automobile Theft Prevention Agency (CATPA), said auto thefts have spiked in Colorado and neighboring states since late 2019.

“When the pandemic hit, many states saw unprecedented spikes in auto theft and other property crime,” Gould said. “Economic downturns always lead to property crime (and) social unrest, etc.”

Gould also said declining numbers of law enforcement and correctional center staff, declining prison capacity to accommodate inmates, and “more serious crimes” amid a huge backlog of cases. He mentioned the court system that gives priority to

The arrival of the pandemic has disrupted life across the country and around the world. Still, according to National Insurance Crime Administration data for 2021, the most recent year for which data is available, Colorado was the U.S. state with the highest number of auto thefts per capita for her that year.

When asked why Colorado has this dubious distinction, Gould cites the state’s rapid population boom in recent years and the dispersal of newcomers across many parts of the state rather than congregating only in urban areas. In particular, some formerly rural areas, including Longmont, have expanded significantly.

“I live in Firestone, so Longmont is right next door to me,” said Gould. “And I think in Longmont it’s very similar to Firestone, which used to be a really small rural community. You’ll see all sorts of people leaving their keys in their sun visors.As the population grows, these (regions) that were formerly more rural become larger and It starts to get more populated. …I think that’s one of the things that makes Colorado unique.”

To prevent car thefts from occurring, Mr. Jones told residents not to leave their cars unattended, to keep their doors locked, and to leave spare keys, valuables and weapons in their cars. I would advise you not to leave.

In the event of a car theft, residents should contact police immediately, Jones said. After calling the police, auto theft victims are encouraged to post to Facebook groups such as Colorado Stolen Cars and Neighborhood Watch Longmont. Jones also warned residents not to confront auto thieves or approach stolen vehicles.

CATPA’s website,, also contains information about auto theft facts, victim resources, and a catalytic converter labeling program aimed at deterring catalytic converter theft and recovering stolen catalytic converters. It is

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