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You know car theft is getting bad when thieves resort to fixing a car before stealing it. Well, consider the current car theft problem “bad.” A Lakewood, Colorado man recently reported that thieves fixed his car that was on blocks overnight and stole it before he could get back to work on it the next morning. 

patrol car sitting in Colorado neighborhood looking out for car theft
Colorado Patrol car | Lewis Geyer/Getty

Who steals a 2013 Hyundai Sonata on blocks? 

First of all, this is not a dig on the Hyundai Sonata, but you could imagine the shock on Scott Richardson’s face when he came outside to find his Sonata was stolen. My point is only that these thieves must have wanted it pretty bad to go through this amount of trouble for a 10-year-old Hyundai Sonata. 

Richardson said he had the Sonata in his parking garage replacing the brakes. When it got too late to continue, he left the Hyundai on blocks in the garage to finish the next day. If having your car stolen isn’t bad enough, Richardson also moonlights as a ride-share driver to supplement his day job as an information technology professional. So, losing his wheels directly affected his income. 

Is car theft on the rise? 

According to Fox31 News, the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority Report shows car theft reached an all-time high in Colorado, increasing more than 80% since 2019. 

Seeing the numbers on the page is nice, but anecdotes like this prove that car thieves are either getting bolder or more desperate.

“My car actually had no calipers on it, so they had to have put the wheels back on it and brakes, kind of back on it to drive it, so yeah, they fixed my car to steal it, which is crazy,” he said.

Which cars get stolen the most often? 

Fox31 mentions that the Chevy Silverado, Kia Optima, and Ford F-250 were the most stolen cars around the metropolitan area in 2021. 

A local custom car audio shop owner, Lex Dillon, was interviewed about the growing car thefts and said that the locals are feeling the threat. “I get a lot of phone calls lately, catalytic converters have been stolen off vehicles,” he said. 

Despite the growing number of car thefts in America, new technologies can help deter thefts and help you recover your car once stolen. Tesla has cornered the market on the anti-theft tech that will alert a car’s owner that someone is in their car. There are even after-market kill switches that will render a car useless while activated. 

These days, you don’t have to buy a Tesla for such counter theft measures. As a shop owner, Dillon didn’t miss the opportunity to announce that car security devices like these can start for as little as $230 at after-market retailers. 

What can you do to protect your car? 

A man changing a tire with a lion on top of the car
Changing a flat in a lion preserve. | Harry Dempster/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Since car theft and bogus plates are so popular right now, Lakewood Police are telling locals to be extra thorough when buying a used car these days. They say taking the extra time to check a car’s VIN to see if it’s stolen is advised. 

There is only so much we can do to prevent car thefts. Above all else, always have your car doors locked and windows rolled up. This is the cause of the overwhelming majority of car thefts today.