A new criminal intelligence lab in Colorado has its sights set on car thieves, says the Denver Post. The Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center is part of an aggressive offensive to cut down on car theft in Colorado, a state that just a few years ago was a hot spot but is among the top three nationwide for turning those statistics around.
Still, 140 cars a week are stolen in Colorado. Many of the thieves commit violent crimes in the same spree. There are huge gaps in auto-theft investigation here — cities cannot yet pinpoint auto-theft hot spots, and some law enforcement agencies take too long to report cars stolen. Despite the recent progress, Colorado residents are still more likely to find their cars stolen than people in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, or Illinois. The lab is elevating the crackdown on car thieves from the days when it was up to street cops to notice patterns by patrolling a beat. For the first time, statewide auto-theft data is analyzed at a central spot. In the near future, the lab expects to have precise enough data to tell a certain police department: “Have your officers at the movie theater on Wednesday night” or “Watch the mall parking lot between the hours of 2 and 4 p.m.”