Greenwood Village, Colorado. – A new study released by the Common Sense Institute shows that Colorado is on track to set an all-time-high in motor vehicle thefts in 2022. By January 2022, Colorado was already #1 in the nation for auto theft. Despite promises from Governor Jared Polis to make Colorado one of the “top 10 safest states in the nation” in his State of the State address, Colorado’s crime tsunami has only gotten worse. Since that promise from the Governor, our auto theft rate has increased another 17.2%. Since Democrats have been in control of Colorado’s state government, drug crimes involving motor vehicle theft have increased by 1,110%, violent crimes involving motor vehicle theft by 521%, and property crimes involving motor vehicle theft by 583%.
Laws on auto theft now target the poorest Coloradans (C.R.S. 18-4-409). The legislature passed a bill that forces charges on auto theft to be based on the monetary value of the car. The charge an offender gets is based not on the actual commission of the crime, but on the value of the car.
Simply put, stealing a rich person’s Porsche will get a higher criminal sentence than stealing a poor person’s Ford. In Colorado, most stolen vehicles (63.51%) are valued at less than $15,000, which means that criminals are actively using the law to target those who can afford it the least.
Republican Attorney General candidate John Kellner explained the basic solution: “Time to get rid of value-based car theft charges. All car theft should be a class 4 felony. For repeat offenders – a class 3 felony with mandatory prison time.”
Statement by GOP Chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown: “This criminal targeting of working families and many in Colorado’s minority communities is a direct result of laws passed by a Democrat-controlled legislature, signed by Democrat Governor Jared Polis, and complemented by Democrat Attorney General Phil Weiser – who is constantly missing in action on Colorado’s crime epidemic. The only way to stop Colorado’s crime tsunami is to change our leaders. Jared Polis and Phil Weiser have proven they can’t get crime under control. Let’s elect crime fighters who have real solutions and who can build a safer, better Colorado for all of us.”