Pueblo police seeing fewer car thefts in the city

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PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV) - A positive trend for the Steel City: the number of cars stolen actually decreased in 2018 compared to 2017. Police say part of the solution came from more people locking their cars.

Pueblo police said they saw about 200 fewer cars stolen. This is about a 16 percent drop compared to their record year of 2017.

While police do credit people locking their car doors, they also credit people for not puffing as much. This is when you heat your car up in the morning and leave it running while it is unattended. Officers say this is a chronic problem in the city, and when people puff it makes them and their vehicle an easy target for possible criminals.

“As we go into the colder months, we have a chronic problem with that, and the thing is: if you give criminals an opportunity, they'll take it, so we want to reduce those opportunities for the criminals to steal vehicles,” said Sgt. Franklyn Ortega.

Police say being a part of the BATTLE group has helped reduce those stolen car numbers. BATTLE stands for “Beat Auto Theft Through Law Enforcement.” This allows Pueblo police to share info and resources with other law enforcement agencies to prevent the crime and recover a vehicle when it has been stolen.

In 2017, the city saw 1,253 cars stolen which was a record-breaking year. In 2018, that number dropped to 1,060.

The department is confident they can continue to decrease this number for 2019 as well.

“I’m optimistic that we can continue that decrease and do better in 2019 with the BATTLE group and the public helping us by not giving criminals opportunities,” Ortega said.