Mesa County sees spike in car thefts, sheriff’s office advises caution

Mesa County, Colorado, is experiencing a surge in car thefts, according to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO). The MCSO is urging residents to lock their car doors and avoid leaving valuables in plain sight, as most of the thefts are crimes of opportunity.

Car thefts increase by 54.6% in Mesa County

According to a report by the Common Sense Institute, a nonpartisan research organization, Mesa County’s crime rate increased by 3.3% in 2023, driven mainly by a 54.6% increase in crimes against persons. The crime rate for crimes against property, which includes car thefts, fell by 12.5%. However, the rate of auto theft, 0.193 per 1,000, is still less than one-third of the state auto theft rate, 0.664 per 1,000. 1

The MCSO says that most of the car thefts are happening in areas where cars are left unlocked and have items of value in plain sight, such as purses, backpacks, electronics, and firearms. Only one car was entered by force, and most vehicle break-ins happen to unlocked cars, according to the MCSO.

MCSO warns residents to protect themselves and their belongings

The MCSO is advising residents to take some simple steps to prevent car thefts and protect themselves and their belongings. These include:

  • Locking car doors and windows
  • Removing keys and fobs from the car
  • Parking in well-lit and visible areas
  • Hiding or removing valuables from the car
  • Reporting any suspicious activity to the MCSO or 911

Mesa County sees spike in car thefts

The MCSO also reminds residents that cars are not gun safes and to never leave a firearm in a car, as stolen guns are often used in other criminal activities. The MCSO says that it is working with other law enforcement agencies to identify and arrest the suspects involved in the car thefts.

MCSO offers resources and tips for crime prevention

The MCSO has a crime watch page on its website, where residents can find more information and tips on crime prevention strategies. The MCSO also encourages residents to sign up for the Nextdoor app, a neighborhood social network that allows users to communicate with their neighbors and the MCSO about local issues and events. The MCSO says that the Nextdoor app is a useful tool for sharing information and alerts about crime and safety in the community.

The MCSO also invites residents to join the Mesa County Sheriff’s Posse, a volunteer organization that assists the MCSO with various tasks and programs, such as patrolling, search and rescue, traffic control, and community events. The MCSO says that the posse is a great way to get involved and support the MCSO’s mission of serving and protecting Mesa County.

The MCSO says that it is committed to keeping Mesa County safe and reducing crime, and that it appreciates the cooperation and support of the residents. The MCSO says that by working together, the community can prevent car thefts and other crimes, and make Mesa County a better place to live.

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