Vehicle thefts on the rise in and around Garfield County

November 7, 2020

The last several weeks have seen a rash of vehicle thefts occurring in Garfield County, Eagle County and Mesa County. There have even been some “out of state” thefts that have made their way to Garfield County via the I-70 Corridor. Many of these thefts have resulted in subsequent pursuits placing not only Law Enforcement personnel in danger but also the general public.

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with the Colorado State Patrol and local municipal Police Departments have been successful in stopping and apprehending several individuals involved in these thefts.

It is unclear yet whether these thefts are a part of an organized effort or simply opportunistic. Some cars that are being stolen have been left by their owners to “warm-up” (commonly known as a “puffer”). Other vehicles that were left unlocked with the keys in the ignition, on the floorboards, above the visor etc.

Everyone is reminded:
1) Never leave your keys in the car, thief’s know where to look.
2) Never leave your car unlocked, or the windows rolled down.
3) With the weather getting colder, avoid leaving your car to “warm-up” prior to departing.
4) Don’t leave your car running while you make a quick trip into the Post Office or a store.
5) Park in high traffic areas where passers-by or other people in a parking lot may take notice of suspicious activity.
6) If you see something suspicious call 911 immediately and report the location, vehicle involved, if known, and the suspicious individual or individuals. Obtain as much information as you can, with out putting yourself or others at risk.
7) If you are parking your car overnight, park in a well lit area.

You may not be able to prevent your car from being stolen, but you can at least make it a bit more difficult for the thief and nearly impossible for the opportunistic “joy” rider.
Our best defense against this crime is citizen awareness and information reporting. Do not approach an unknown suspect yourself. Leave this to the authorities.