New technology, police efforts stall auto thefts in Colorado |

New technology, police efforts stall auto thefts in Colorado

Michael Booth
The Denver Post

Car owners buy glass-etching paste to burn their VIN permanently onto every window.

Rural sheriffs plant GPS tracking devices on farm tractors or four-wheelers left out as bait for machinery thieves.

Metro Denver cops drive cars with computerized license-plate readers that can sweep an entire grocery-store parking lot for stolen vehicles in a matter of seconds.

And it’s all working. Automakers and police have waged a successful war on car theft in recent years, battering the stolen-vehicle rate by 20 percent to 30 percent annually.

A quick survey of the numbers offers some astonishing good news in a key crime category:

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• Colorado vehicle theft dropped 22 percent in 2008, keeping 3,613 more cars with their rightful owners and saving an estimated $24.4 million in replacement value.

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