According to the Denver Post, because of GPS tracking devices and other anti-theft deterrent technologies, there has been a major decrease in the number of stolen vehicles reported nationally. People are becoming smarter when it comes to protecting their cars and police are using the new technologies available to them to help catch criminals in the act. From car owners using glass-etching paste to burn their VIN permanently onto every window, to cops driving cars with computerized license-plate readers that can sweep an entire grocery-store parking lot for stolen vehicles in a matter of seconds, new technology is helping bring auto theft rates drastically down.
“It’s a partnership between the engineering by automakers and the police efforts,” said Colorado State Patrol Capt. David Santos, who works with the multi-jurisdictional Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority.”There are still some ways to get around it, but we’re working very diligently with industry and insurance companies on reducing the number of thefts. We’re hoping that downward trend will continue,” Santos said. Best of all the drop in car thefts is also affecting the insurance markets.
Carole Walker a member of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association stated “If we can see (theft) come down over a few years, that does ultimately affect what you pay,” Walker said. “It can have a big impact.”
The combination of anti-theft devices, GPS trackers, task forces and plate readers turns criminals paranoid, and that can make them informants. The prevention of auto thefts can also aid in the decrease of other thefts. Thieves often steal a car as part of committing another crime, whether carrying out a drug deal, a burglary or an assault. The stolen car can be crucial to the criminal’s plans said Santos. The new technology being used by police has extremely benefited them and helped decrease car theft by almost 50% nationwide.
The Denver Post also mentions some interesting figures from a recent survey:
• 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.
• Denver’s rate dropped 30 percent in 2008, from 5,104 cars stolen the year before down to 3,591.
• Pueblo’s rate dropped 67 percent.
• Nationally, the vehicle-theft rate was cut by more than half from 1991 to 2008, from 659 cars stolen per 100,000 population to 315 thefts. That rate drop effectively puts a security shield around more than 700,000 American vehicles a year.