The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has taken a proactive stance on fighting this growing crime trend. We have assigned a detective that is assigned to the Special Investigations Unit to investigate these crimes. We have also assigned a detective to the East Metro Auto Theft Task Force. The trends in auto theft within Douglas County is out of county suspects drive into Douglas County in a stolen vehicle and then drive through neighborhoods in an attempt to identify another car to steal. They abandon the stolen car they drive to Douglas County and trade up to a nicer vehicle. Once the cars are stolen, they are often used in other crime related activities or taken to a “Chop-Shop” where the car is stripped of all, or certain parts that are needed by the auto thieves.
Other proactive techniques used by the Sheriff’s Office to deter such crimes as auto theft, are crime prevention and neighborhood watch programs. By educating the citizens of Douglas County on the proper way to avoid becoming a victim, we hope to decrease the number of opportunities that a criminal has to get to your car.
Tips on how not to become a victim:
- Never leave your keys in your car, even if it’s parked in your own garage.
- Park your car in a garage and keep the garage door closed day and night.
- Always lock the doors and roll up the windows, especially when parked in a public place such as a mall or a movie theater.
- Never leave your car unattended while it’s running.
- Don’t leave valuables lying around where thieves can see them through a window.
- At night, try to leave your car parked under lights or near the main entrance of any business.
- Never assume that your car is safe, even if you live in a “nice” or low crime community. Criminals can and do come from all walks of life.
- Never leave a child alone in a vehicle.
The kinds of cars most often stolen in Douglas County include Hondas, Acuras and all types of SUV’s. The majority of Douglas County auto thefts occur in the densely populated area of the north-central portion of the County.
A large percentage of vehicles stolen in Douglas County had the keys left in them and are crimes of opportunity. The auto thieves enter open garages at night and then roll the cars out of the garage then start the car where it is harder for the owner to hear.
Remember that auto theft can happen on any day of the week, any time day or night and in every type of community.
For more information on Douglas County auto theft, please call the Special Investigations Section 303-784-7800.
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