DenverTrack program to fight car thefts with real time tracking

Denver police on Friday announced a new program — DenverTrack — to help combat car thefts by recovering vehicles quickly while increasing arrests.

The program works with any vehicle that has an installed tracking device, either factory-installed or after-market devices, including Bluetooth and GPS devices that track in real time.

DenverTrack requires owners to register with the program to “preauthorize” police access to GPS location data to be used when, and only, if a vehicle is stolen, the release said. When a DenverTrack registered vehicle is reported stolen, police will confirm consent and access the vehicle by gathering location information.

“The Denver Police Department is committed to reducing auto thefts in Denver and recognizes the significant impact this particular crime has had on our residents and visitors,” Police Chief Ron Thomas said in the release.  “In 2022, Denver Police officers arrested 1,484 suspects for auto theft, compared to the nearly 14,900 reported stolen vehicles in Denver, which is why having tracking information in real time is vital in retrieving stolen vehicles and holding offenders accountable.”

SB23-097, a state proposal to make nearly all car thefts a felony-level crime, cleared its first legislative hurdle this past week. According to the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, auto thefts in Colorado rose 86% between 2019 and 2021.

In Denver, vehicle owners can visit DenverTrack online to register vehicles and learn more about the program. Once registered, police will mail DenverTrack stickers to owners to place on vehicle windows to deter car thieves. Placing a sticker on a vehicle is encouraged but not required.

It’s free to register, but a manufacturer fee may be incurred if the GPS system is accessed, police said.

This coming week, from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, volunteers will be at Denver police district stations to help vehicle owners in filling out preauthorization forms. In addition, drivers who visit district stations can receive an etching kit aimed at deterring catalytic converter thefts, as well as license plate theft prevention screws — while supplies last.


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