The Coloradans Against Auto Theft (CAAT) coalition kicks off National Auto Theft Prevention Month with a new public awareness campaign to remind Coloradans to lock their vehicles this summer as auto theft is increasing in the state. The CAAT campaign is conducted statewide in conjunction with law enforcement agencies, insurance companies and community partners, and encourages the general public to never leave their car doors unlocked, their windows cracked or anything personal or valuable in plain sight. Additionally, Colorado has seen a spike in drug related crimes and often those crimes involve stolen vehicles; in half these cases, the car was an easy target for the thief because it was left unlocked.
“According to auto theft task forces and investigators, auto theft is increasing in Colorado,” said Colonel Scott Hernadez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol (CSP). “Our Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center (ATICC) recorded 11,003 auto thefts in its database in 2012, as compared to 9,331 in 2011. Colorado Springs has seen the sharpest increase where auto theft is up 60% compared to last year. A number of factors contributed to this increase including improvements to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s data collection system, which may have captured more reports of auto theft in 2012 than in previous years.”
Lockdown Summer Campaign: “Unlocked Cars Get Stolen”
To get the auto theft prevention message out to Coloradans statewide, CAAT is launching its campaign at Garden of the Gods, a popular summer destination for tourists and locals alike. The main message to patrons: Unlocked Cars Get Stolen. Auto theft spikes in the summer because people tend to let their guard down and make risky decisions such as leaving the window cracked or hiding a key under the wheel while they hike. “While Garden of the God’s is a safe place, it’s our responsibility as community partners to remind our visitors that they need to put safety first and always lock their car wherever they go to enjoy summertime in Colorado,” remarked Snook Cipolletti, Park Ranger, Garden of the Gods.
The Lockdown message will be supported through a paid media campaign in Colorado Springs, including outdoor, online and mobile advertising with an estimated 11 million impressions. Coloradans will notice the campaign across the Colorado Springs area on several billboards along I-25 and throughout town, bus backs, and bus boards and on geographically targeted sites includingwww.Gazette.com. The campaign will also be supported through community partnerships, including Red Rocks Amphitheatre, where Lockdown messaging will appear in parking lots. The Lockdown website has undergone a refresh and now features a geo-locator tool that allows citizens to search auto thefts in their zip code.