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Theft Awareness in the Workplace

With a rise in Property claims, what’s happening with crime in Colorado?


Theft, like many crimes, is difficult to quantify; crime rates are complex. A rise in violent crime in a major city doesn’t indicate a larger trend nationally, and theft of property from local governments may not mean anything outside of that jurisdiction.

At the CSD Pool we have been seeing an increase in Property claims. This has prompted us to investigate current crime statistics and look for patterns. Colorado might seem as though it is experiencing an increase in crime, but what does the data say?

Crime Rates

Here’s what we know broadly about crime rates:

  1. Violent crime rose during the pandemic, with motor vehicle thefts beginning to increase in May 2020 and continuing to rise through June of 2022
  2. Americans believe crime has risen, even when data shows otherwise
  3. Overall, crime rates are falling

According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program, in Colorado in 2019 (the latest year for which data is available) there were 51,009 occurrences of property crime (the umbrella over burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft). Of these, there were a total of 6,617 total occurrences of motor vehicle theft alone, almost 13% of property crimes. The rate per 100,000 inhabitants for motor vehicle theft ranges from 129 in Fort Collins (including Larimer County) to 491 in Colorado Springs (including El Paso and Teller).

Theft Trends

When we look at trends over time, a picture emerges of Colorado’s crime rate behaving inversely with the national incidence rate. Since, 2011, property crime offences per 100,000 have decreased by almost a third. In that same time period, property crime rates in Colorado have increased by 9%.

Chart of property crime from 2011 to 2020

The difference between the United States overall and Colorado shows even more starkly when looking just at motor vehicle thefts. While the national rate has increased by 7% since 2011, the rate in Colorado has risen by 143%.

Chart of motor vehicle thefts from 2011 to 2020

A Dubious Honor

Colorado is now the top state in the nation when it comes to motor vehicle thefts. With numbers this striking, it’s unsurprising that Colorado has taken action against the rising flood of thefts.

CATPA, the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority, has a website devoted to awareness called lockdownyourcar.org, and their 2021 annual report outlines the many steps they are taking to address the issue, estimating that their funded grant projects increased vehicle theft prevention activities by 32% compared to 2019.

Is there any other upsides? According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program, of all motor vehicles reported stolen in the same jurisdiction as the enforcement agency submitting the report, over half – 56.1% – are recovered.

Actions To Take

While you can’t completely eliminate the risk of theft or break-ins, there are actions you can take to minimize the damage and protect your assets. Here are some easy actions that can be taken:

  • Check every point of entrance when leaving your building or work vehicle. Check all the locks and windows to make sure they are shut and secured. Burglars will often check for the easiest points of entry first and often move on if not successful.
  • Keep a good record of keys. Track all the keys you give out to employees. When someone quits or gets fired, make sure you get the key back. Limit who has the keys to expensive equipment. This way you know who has access to everything, as the more people who have keys or keys get lost, the more susceptible the place is to theft.
  • Double check business protocols. Go over with employees on how to arm and disarm security systems. Be sure everyone is aware of theft prevention and basic practices.
  • Maintain a closed door policy, especially in high traffic areas. Open doors to warehouses, sheds, etc, can also be an open invitation for thieves. Open doors also allows thieves to see property and plan out future attempts to get their hands on it.
  • Join a watch group or stay connected with neighboring buildings and businesses. Keeping in touch with the neighborhood can help your business and other businesses around you prevent thefts and break-ins.

Security Purchases

With these actions in mind, there are purchases you can make to help reduce theft, burglary, and robbery. These purchases include:

  • CCTV security cameras. Closed circuit television cameras (CCTV) provide businesses with video surveillance, recordings, and captured images so you know what’s going on when you’re not there. Place them in strategic locations so it is able to capture and identify faces of employees and customers, as well as being in high value spots with a lot of traffic or expensive items. Not only do cameras help you capture thefts, it can also help deter them by making them visible and even displaying signs that people are on camera.
  • Install an alarm system. The presence of an alarm system can deter any would-be burglars while also helping you keep an eye on both external and internal threats.
  • Purchase or upgrade new doors and locks. Faulty doors or locks are perfect bait for someone to break in or take advantage of the situation.
  • Maintain proper lighting outside. Bright lights have been known to deter thieves as they can easily be seen.
  • As your district purchases these security measures, don’t forget the CSD Pool will reimburse 50% of safety and loss prevention purchases. If you have any questions or need more information on what qualifies, email info@csdpool.org or visit our safety and loss prevention grant website here: Safety Grants.


    Looking for more? Find other articles about theft here.

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